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Coast Guard Foundation pays tribute to Coast Guard Seventh District

by Coast Guard Foundation on 31 Oct
Rick Sasso, chairman of MSC Cruises North America Coast Guard Foundation
The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that its 2017 Tribute to the Seventh District Awards Dinner in Fort Lauderdale will take place Thursday, November 16, 2017 at the Pier Sixty-Six Hotel and Marina.

At the event, the Coast Guard Foundation will honor United States Coast Guard heroism and mission excellence with special recognition for Coast Guard members who have responded to hurricanes and natural disasters in the region in the last year, including the most recent hurricanes –Irma and Maria. The Foundation will also recognize Rick Sasso, chairman of MSC Cruises North America, for overseeing a company whose policies greatly align with many of the core values of the Coast Guard: safety, health and environmental protection. Admiral Paul Zukunft, Commandant of the Coast Guard, will deliver keynote remarks.

“Every day, the men and women of the Coast Guard serve and safeguard the public; protect the environment and its resources; and defend our Nation’s interests in our maritime region,” said Susan Ludwig, president, Coast Guard Foundation. “They rescue people in need and in the most difficult conditions, see cargo ships to port and are our first line of defense in the face of everything from storms to oil spills. We all witnessed this recently in their preparation for and response to the devastating storms that hit Texas, Florida and the Caribbean.We are humbled to recognize their service and give back as much as we can.”

Following Hurricane Harvey’s Texas landfall, which called on many Seventh District assets to support the response there, the month of September brought two more hurricanes to the area. Irma and Maria, both category-five hurricanes, did not impact a city or a region, but all of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and the entire state of Florida, as well as coastal regions of Georgia and South Carolina. The storms brought 185 mile-per-hour winds, mass destruction and catastrophic flooding to the area.

More than 200 flights were performed by Coast Guard Seventh District heavy lift aircraft, bringing in excess of 2.5 million pounds of supplies and assistance to affected areas. More than 20 Coast Guard cutters responded, supporting the delivery of generators, medical supplies, food and water, and repairing crucial water pumps in isolated regions, like Vieques, Puerto Rico. Buoy tenders and Aids to Navigation teams repaired buoys and critical channel markers from South Carolina to the U.S. Virgin Islands while conducting port assessments. These teams had most federally maintained waterways open within two days following the storms, which allowed for bulk shipment of aid to affected regions and the resumption of commerce to multi-billion dollar ports.

The Coast Guard Foundation’s Tribute to the Seventh District Awards Dinner in Fort Lauderdale will take place Thursday, November 16, 2017, at the Pier Sixty-Six Hotel and Marina, 2301 SE17 Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A cocktail reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner and the program following at 7:30 p.m.
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