The Dana William Leach Fund was established on December 17, 1991, by the Leach family 19 years after Dana’s disappearance at sea.

Born in 1948, Dana Leach was the son of Bill and Greta, brother of Roxanne, Kristin, Gretta, and Dirk, father of Dyan, and uncle of Megan Sayce. A 1966 graduate of Wakefield High, he played trumpet in the band and was an active member of DeMolay (a fraternal youth group for young men). He also served as an acolyte at Trinity Episcopal Church in Melrose.

Following graduation, Mr. Leach served in the U.S. Navy. He trained at the Great Lakes facility and served in Antarctica supporting the scientific expedition “Operation Deep Freeze.” 

In December of 1972, shortly after his naval discharge, Mr. Leach joined his uncle, Frank Jordan, to sail a 44-foot ketch, The Silver Dawn, from its home port in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Bermuda. Both men were experienced seamen but the two never reached their destination and were never heard from again.

The Coast Guard searched for the boat to no avail. At the time, possible scenarios included the ketch losing its mast due to foul weather, being caught in the Gulf Stream, and drifting into the North Sea. Also of concern was the weather on the second day of the voyage, which included high winds and 50 to 60-foot waves. 

 In 1974 wreckage from the sailboat was found 35 miles off Gloucester. The Leach family and contacts in the sailing world will forever ponder the fate of The Silver Dawn.