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A Coast Guard Ensign has died in a training accident in Alabama, and four families living in a housing complex in North Carolina saw their homes destroyed in a fire. A servicemember lost his wife and two daughters as a result of the blaze.

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News // Jul 12, 2016

The Windjammer Community Center Is Open For Business

  • Coast Guard Foundation

Tucked away on the base of Sector St. Petersburg, Florida, is a community building which has been used by Coast Guard families for birthday parties, baby showers, promotions and retirements. And sometimes, it is the gathering place for families awaiting news of their loved ones who are missing in a storm. It’s a home on the base for Coast Guard members to rest and regroup after standing duty and it’s the place where large-group trainings and workshops are held.

Originally constructed in 1968, it has recently shown the effects of near-continuous use over the years. And with more families stationed in the area, Coast Guard members wanted to refresh the place to make it more family-friendly.

With federal funds limited for such an undertaking, the Coast Guard Foundation set out to match up the project with local supporters who saw the value in providing a refreshed and rehabbed community space for Coast Guard members stationed at this busy base.

Working closely with Coast Guard leadership at the Sector, a plan was designed to upgrade the building and pool side facilities, including replacing the ceiling, HVAC system and roof, remodeling the restrooms, kitchen area and bathrooms and painting the interior and exterior of the building. New outdoor decking and furniture were added, including a new modular outdoor grilling unit. A large awning was installed to provide shade for outdoor recreation and education opportunities, and the crumbling pool deck was resurfaced for safety and aesthetic reasons.

The upgrades were completed in April of this year, and officially dedicated at the end of June where Sector command welcomed Coast Guard Foundation board member David Dyer and his wife Harriet Dyer, two of the primary supporters of the renovation and rehab project. The Dyers’ made a challenge gift that helped the Coast Guard Foundation leverage other support at a critical time in the project plan.

"My family and I are truly grateful to support Coast Guard members stationed here at Sector St. Petersburg through this project," said David Dyer. "We are honored to show our appreciation and admiration for their commitment and dedication to our country through this gift."

Sector St. Petersburg houses more than 825 active duty and reserve Coast Guard members, and 1,800 Coast Guard Auxiliary members. Each year its members conduct, on average, more than 2,600 rescue cases, assisting more than 7,000 people and preserving property valued at $39 million. It has become one of the Coast Guard's largest commands, with its area of responsibility encompassing more than 400 nautical miles of coastline along Florida's west coast, and the third largest U.S. port for domestic trade.

“We are thrilled to have completed the Windjammer project with the generous support of the greater St. Petersburg community,” said Anne B. Brengle, president of the Coast Guard Foundation. “It’s our privilege to provide families stationed at Sector St. Petersburg with an updated building and outdoor venue that suits their needs and provides the opportunity to learn, honor and celebrate in a space that is up to expected standards for our Coast Guard service members.”

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