DIY Boat Race

Showdown on the Sound

Gather or give to honor Michael Taylor's memory and help end the opioid epidemic.

Family Group

October 5, 2024

Build for Michael, Race for Change! Join and support the 9th Annual Showdown on the Sound in Darien, Connecticut.

About Michael Taylor


Michael "Mike" Taylor was kind, witty, adventurous, sincere and generous. His spirit was magnetic. He lit up every room he walked into with his enormous smile and deep, infectious laugh and loved his friends and family deeply.

An all-state tennis player at Darien High School, Michael also played Division 1 varsity tennis for three years, graduated from Villanova University and then started a career in marketing. He loved traveling, adventures, and being out on the water.

Michael suffered from addiction, initiated with opioid painkillers prescribed after reconstructive shoulder surgery due to a tennis injury during his junior year at Villanova. Michael embraced his struggles with substance abuse with the same tenacity he approached everything else in his life and refused to shy away from giving his own voice to the addiction epidemic.

In April 2016, he sadly lost his battle with opioids after two months of sobriety.

Why a Boat Race?

Boat race on a beach

Every year, Michael and his friends would kick off the summer with days out on the water and a trip to Block Island, RI. Michael was a passionate sportsman, and could turn any activity into a competition. The more outlandish a plan, the more Michael respected it.

Inspired by this annual tradition, and in recognition of Michael’s love of spectaculars, Showdown on the Sound was born. The event includes a “build your own boat” race, a silent auction, food trucks, lawn games, dunk tank and live music.

These activities all represent, in one way or another, a part of life that Michael loved. We honor Michael’s memory by engaging in activities that he enjoyed and continue his mission to fight addiction and erase its stigma in our communities.

Since 2017, Showdown on the Sound has raised over $1,000,000 for Shatterproof in honor of Michael Taylor.

Teen talking to a therapist

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