It was a sold out crowd of Coast Guard members, maritime leaders, and Coast Guard Foundation partners at the Ft. Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort on April 22. The Coast Guard Foundation’s Tribute to the Seventh Coast Guard District recognized Coast Guard and industry efforts to safely evacuate 250,000 cruise ship passengers at the start of the pandemic as well as the heroic efforts of a helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater that rescued four people after extreme weather capsized their vessel 30 miles west of Cedar Key in June 2021.
Guests also honored Dan Thorogood, President and Chief Executive Officer of Seabulk, for more than 30 years of dedicated support to the Coast Guard Foundation and the men and women of the Coast Guard. During his remarks Thorogood relayed a moving story about how Coast Guard-operated landing craft supported U.S. Marines in the Pacific Theater of World War II, ultimately leading to the release of his grandparents, who had been taken captive by Japanese forces from a diplomatic posting.
The Foundation is thankful for the generous support of reception sponsors Trailer Bridge and John and Jeanette Staluppi; Defender-level sponsors American Maritime Officers, Crowley, Marine Industries Foundation of South Florida, Seabulk, Trans Marine Propulsion Systems, and Windstar Cruises, as well as all who sponsored the dinner, which raised more than $500,000 for programs that assist Coast Guard members and families nationwide.
In his remarks Coast Guard Foundation Chairman Tom Allegretti thanked dinner committee chair Alex Anagnostis-Irons and her committee for their outstanding efforts and also highlighted the many new sponsors to the dinner, which were key to the energy in the room and the event’s success. First-time sponsors included: Advanced Mechanical Enterprises, Florida International Terminal, Future Care Inc., King Ocean Services, New Fortress Energy, Thompson Marine, Trailer Bridge, and Trans Marine Propulsion Systems.
Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz was the keynote speaker and thanked the Foundation and attendees for their support of Coast Guard members in the Southeast U.S. and nationwide. Schultz received a standing ovation during his last Foundation dinner as Commandant. He retires from the Coast Guard on June 1 after 39 years of distinguished service.
Cover Photo: Master Chief of the Coast Guard Jason Vanderhaden recognizes the crowd at the Coast Guard Foundation's Tribute to the Seventh Coast Guard District, April 22, 2022, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.