The Coast Guard Foundation celebrated the heroism and professionalism of the service in the Pacific Northwest Thursday, September 12, by honoring two helicopter crews who conducted a daring night-time rescue, saving two stranded hikers on Mount Rainier, one of whom was suffering from life-threatening injuries.
The awardees on stage at the Pacific Northwest Tribute Dinner.
The flight crews of CG-6035 and CG-6013 were recognized for outstanding performance in the line of duty for an 11-hour rescue. The awardees honored were: LCDR Nathan E. Coulter, LCDR Joshua B. Nelson, LT Benjamin J. Berman, LT Leo C. Lake, AST1 O’Brien Starr-Hollow, AMT2 Jonathan P. Randolph, AET2 James W. Rizer, and AST3 Tyler J. Gaenzle.
The awards dinner raises vital funds for the men and women of the Coast Guard. The evening featured a silent and live auction, as well as a “raise the paddle” section that brought in money for Coast Guard Foundation scholarships and morale projects. Overall, the dinner and auction raised more than $400,000 that will directly benefit the foundation’s education and morale efforts for people who serve.
A special word of thanks goes to our major dinner sponsors: Vigor Industrial, Foss Maritime, Holland America Line, Carnival Corporation and Princess Cruises.
Admiral Charles Ray, deputy commander of the Pacific Area, spoke to the long-standing and crucial relationship between the Foundation and the men and women of the Coast Guard. “You do for our people, what we cannot do,” Ray said. He pointed to the lean times in the federal budget process, and thanked the foundation for the support it provides to those who wear the Coast Guard uniform, and their families.
Coast Guard Foundation Scholar, Ashley Carter, with MC Brad Goode.
One of the families the Coast Guard Foundation has recently helped was in attendance at the dinner — Ashley Carter, a student at Western Washington University, was a 2012 Coast Guard Foundation scholar. She was joined by her parents, FS1 John Carter, and his wife, Heidi. From the stage, Ashley spoke of how her scholarship helped her focus on her studies, and saved her from having to get a job while being enrolled in school. She said that thanks to the Coast Guard Foundation scholarship she’s on track to graduate a year early.
After Ashley spoke, the chairwoman of the Coast Guard Foundation Scholarship Committee, Laurie Rietsema, pledged a $10,000 gift to help bolster the fund. Laurie’s generosity sparked others in attendance to pledge an additional $57,000 for scholarships, raising $67,000 in total.
Admiral Ray shared a sentiment earlier in the evening that rang true as the event concluded.
“The finest sons and daughters of America are serving in the United States Coast Guard.”