Seafarers & Int'l House Awards Banquet

Monday, February 01, 2010

On Thursday evening, April 22, 2010, Seafarers & International House will hold its annual awards banquet, “Setting the Course,” at the New York Athletic Club for the purpose of honoring Donald Keefe, President of Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, Philip J. Schapiro, President & CEO of Liberty Maritime Corporation and Joseph C. Sweeney, Distinguished Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law.

Seafarers & International House is a Lutheran mission serving seafarers and sojourners. Its 84-room guesthouse at 123 East 15th Street in Manhattan, once one of several seafarer hotels, is now utilized to accommodate a greater variety of travelers, including domestic violence victims, refugees, asylum seekers, as well as the reduced number of seafarers requiring accommodations.

Its outreach to seafarers now, however, is a portable mission. The organization goes to the seafarers; it doesn’t wait for seafarers to come to them. Port chaplains operate special vans equipped with sundry items the seafarers are likely to need. They drive up to the port terminals to visit the seafarers aboard ship and take them to whatever destinations they want, usually shopping malls, sometimes food stores or health clinics in the few hours before their ship sets sail again.

The annual awards banquet helps to underwrite the cost of this port mission in several ports from Philadelphia to the N.U./N.J. maritime complex, Conn. and R.I. 

This will be Seafarers & International House’s tenth annual awards banquet. Typically, a member of the maritime business community and a member of the maritime union community are honored, in the belief that the physical, emotional and spiritual welfare of seafarers is a common concern for both business and labor. The individuals are recognized as Outstanding Friends of Seafarers for their achievements and concern for the seafarer.

Past honorees have included David Heindel (SUI), Clay Maitland (International Registries), Tim Brown and George Quick (Masters, Mates & Pilots), Per Heidenreich (Heidmar), Bob Johnson (OSG), Tim Casey (K-Sea Transportation), Tom Bethel (AMO), Peter Shaerf (AMA Capital) and John Reinhart (Maersk). 

The cocktail reception starts at 6:00, and the banquet starts at 7:30 p.m.  The New York Athletic Club is located at 180 Central Park South, Manhattan. Reservations, program journal ads and other information are available by calling 212-677-4800 ext. 1218 or emailing nfleming@sihnyc.org.

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