The Galveston Seafarers Center on Friday hosted its fourth annual gala fundraiser, “A Toast to the Gulf Coast” honoring the United States Coast Guard.
Jonathan Hale, president of the Galveston Seafarers Center Board of Directors, welcomed the large crowd to the Tremont Hotel Davidson Ballroom and presented the Leading Voice Award to Rear Admiral Mary Landry, commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District and commander of Task Force 189.8, headquartered in New Orleans; who in turn presented Port Chaplain Karen Parsons with a Public Service Commendation citation. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
Admiral Landry said that, during her career with the coast guard, she has come to appreciate the service of port chaplains, who “provide the care and the feeding of mariners who come from around the world.” Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
She updated the audience on operations in Natchez, Mississippi where the coast guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other organizations are responding to record flooding.
“We have the coast guard side by side with the corps, side by side with the maritime industry,” Landry said. “We have the barge companies running and helping with the (National) Vessel Movement Center, we have the pilots helping in New Orleans with the vessel movement center – so that in the midst of all this we can facilitate commerce.”
Chaplain Parsons thanked the supporters of the seafarers center and told the story of how the center provided lifesaving support to a group of Philippine mariners who were stranded for several months in Mexico. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
Special guest, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, aided by event coordinator Natalie Clarke, conducted a lively auction to raise funds for the seafarers center. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer