The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education, welfare and morale of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced that, at a joint meeting of the Executive Committees of the National Coast Guard Museum Association and the Coast Guard Foundation, it was voted to postpone work on developing a National Coast Guard Museum. The project was launched last year to honor the efforts of our guardians of the shores, and celebrate the over one million individuals saved by the Coast Guard—the only branch of the military that does not have a museum.
“The reality of today’s economic climate makes a project which is so dependant on private philanthropy very difficult at this time,” said Ross Roeder, chairman of the board, Coast Guard Foundation. “When the decision was made to move forward with the Museum in 2008 the economy was stronger. It is clear that we need to take time now to carefully reposition the project for success in the future.”
For the past nine months the Foundation and the Museum Association have worked together to make the Museum a reality. Jerry Ostermiller, an experienced and highly successful museum administrator, and nationally known educator, was brought on board in January to raise funds and develop plans for the project. Mr. Ostermiller’s inspiring leadership made a significant contribution to the project, but the fundraising task has proved very difficult given the state of the economy. With the postponement of the project, Mr. Ostermiller has chosen to step down as President and return to his home and family in Oregon.
“Working with the Museum’s board, the Foundation staff and the Coast Guard has been simply inspiring,” said Mr. Ostermiller. “I know someday soon our Guardians, the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard, will have this Museum and their awe inspiring stories will finally be told.”
“Jerry’s vision, love for the values of the Coast Guard, and understanding of what the Museum will be has created a solid foundation which will always be there for the future,” said James Coleman, chairman of the National Coast Guard Museum Association.