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2020 Recap: New Orleans Tribute Event

2020 Nola Awardees
Jen Fyke Web
by Jennifer Crowley Fyke
March 13, 2020

The Coast Guard Foundation held its Tribute to the United States Coast Guard Eighth District on March 6, 2020, at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. For the last 27 years, this event has shined the brightest light on heroism and mission excellence of those who serve in the Gulf Coast and America’s Heartland.

This year, we paid tribute to the men and women who serve at Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, and the incredible work they do daily. Just by the numbers, the Air Station New Orleans team executed 271 search and rescue cases, saving 167 lives in 2019 alone. NOLA Air Station members deployed during Hurricane Barry, Tropical Storm Imelda, and Hurricane Dorian, and throughout the year, Air Station New Orleans crews expertly responded as a cohesive unit, quickly mobilizing to effect rescues in the most trying of circumstances.

2020 NOLA Ray

It’s great to be in New Orleans. New Orleans has always had a special place in my heart.

- Admiral Charles Ray, Coast Guard Vice-Commandant

“I will tell you that our Coasties are glad to do whatever it is we ask them to do. But there’s a group that they count on, and that’s the Coast Guard Foundation,” Admiral Ray continued. “By being here tonight, by supporting this event and what our great Foundation does, you’re telling those young people that you’re validating their decision to raise their right hand and swear to protect and defend the Nation and the Constitution. I don’t believe another organization in America validates what those young people do, better than our Coast Guard Foundation.”

Coast Guard Foundation president Susan Ludwig shared her approach to supporting Coast Guard members and families.

“As a vital partner to the Coast Guard, we collaborate with leadership to identify the best ways to support members and families and effectively address new and emerging needs. Our partnership spans the entire community—whether supporting individuals, bolstering entire units, or honoring the Coast Guard’s mission at a national level. That is only possible because of all of you.”

2020 NOLA Alaria

The Coast Guard Foundation recognized Bob Alario for his long-standing support for the Coast Guard Foundation, and the maritime industry at large.

Bob has twice been awarded the Commandant’s Meritorious Public Service Award by the Coast Guard and was recently honored by the Offshore Marine Service Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award, an award which, incidentally has been renamed in his honor.

Coast Guard Commandant Karl Schultz delivered keynote remarks and echoed Admiral Ray’s sentiment about the importance of the Coast Guard Foundation to the service.

“Your support for the Coast Guard really reaches Coasties all across America, and we are very appreciative of that,” shared Admiral Schultz.

In total, the event raised more than $500,000 to support Coast Guard members and families throughout the Gulf Coast and beyond, all across the country.

Event Highlights:

  • Nicki Candies, Coast Guard Foundation Director, chaired the event with support from the team at Otto Candies LLC. Otto Candies, Jr. shared his appreciation for everyone’s support and the good work of the Coast Guard Foundation.
  • Cheniere Energy and Harvey Gulf International Marine sponsored the cocktail reception, and Hornbeck Offshore Services and Perspecta were recognized as our Defender level sponsors.
  • The Victory Belles and Victory 6 performed ceremonial music and the service medley
  • The evening was hosted by former NFL running back Reggie Rivers, who shared his appreciation for the Coast Guard and its service to our Nation.
  • LT Mark Beaudet, USN, Chaplain of Sector Mobile, provided the invocation and the Eighth District Honor Guard presented colors.
  • The event concluded with dessert and dancing in BB’s Stage Door Canteen, with music performed by KARMA. Bollinger Shipyards generously sponsored this reception.