Some of the industry's biggest players and supporters were present to honor Admiral James Loy and Grace Allen at the 26th Annual Silver Bell Awards Dinner on June 17 at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan. Also recognized, was John J. McMullen, renowned naval architect and marine engineer, and former CEO of United States Lines
, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award. The event, which is one of the industry's top social and philanthropic events of the season, drew a record 954 guests, and raised more than $550,000 for the Seamen's Church Institute of New York & New Jersey. "We are grateful for the support of the maritime industry and our friends," said the Rev. Dr. Jean R. Smith, SCI's Executive Director. "Mariners are a vulnerable workforce and this strong show of support for the Institute's programs keeps our worldwide safety net strong." Richard T. du Moulin, President of Intrepid Shipping
and Silver Bell Dinner Chairman since 1996, reported that 11 new companies joined SCI's loyal supporters. "The Institute's service to mariners and port communities is unequaled among freestanding maritime agencies," said du Moulin. The evening's festivities began with a parade of vessels representing Bouchard Transportation, Circle Line Statue of Liberty, Donjon Marine
, Gateway Terminals
, K-Sea Transportation Corporation, McAllister Towing, Metropolitan Yacht Charters, Millers Launch
, Moran Towing, the New York City Fire Department, New York City Police Department, Reinauer Transportation, Roehrig Marine, Sandy Hook Pilots, and the United States Coast Guard. The Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, the Episcopal Bishop of New York and SCI's honorary Chairman, blessed each vessel as they passed the waving crowd.
Mid-way through the evening, the main event began - the presentations of the signature "Silver Bells" from SCI to Admiral Loy, and Grace Allen - both of who hold the backgrounds and contributions to merit this award. Admiral Loy, currently serves as the Administrator for the Transportation Security Administration - a new federal agency formed by the Aviation Transportation Security Act. Since the organization was formed in November 2002, Loy ensures that his agency provides security for the traveling public and for all commercial transportation. Grace Allen, who is the Chairman of SCI's Arts and Artifacts Committee, is an avid sailor, who has orchestrated many of the Institute's maritime art openings in the Water Street Gallery, located at SCI's headquarters in Lower Manhattan. Through her efforts, she has given the general public an opportunity to appreciate a mariner's life through art and artifacts.
Honored with SCI's Lifetime Achievement Award was Dr. John J. McMullen, a 1940 graduate of the Naval Academy, who served in the Pacific theater during WWII. He was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. His civilian career includes leading the U.S. Maritime Administration's Office of Ship Construction and Repair, and working as president and CEO of United States Lines - all before establishing the naval architecture firm that bears his name - John J. McMullen Associates.