The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of Coast Guard members and their families, will hold its 20th annual tribute to the United States Coast Guard Seventh District on November 8th, 2013, at the Renaissance Vinoy Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida.
During the event, the Coast Guard Foundation will provide a special honor to the members of a Clearwater-based helicopter crew for the heroism, dedication and aviation professionalism they displayed on January 18, 2013 while saving the lives of seven mariners from the 170-foot research vessel Seaprobe, 230 nautical miles west of Clearwater, Florida. The individuals being honored are Lieutenant Commander Gary Scott; Lieutenant Junior Grade Tyler Monez; Flight Mechanic, Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Turner and Rescue Swimmer, Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Salter.
Celebrating the bravery of the men and women serving throughout the southern United States, the event will raise awareness for the Coast Guard Foundation and the support it provides for all members of the Coast Guard. Featured speakers will include Admiral Robert J. Papp, Commandant of the Coast Guard; Vice Admiral Robert Parker, Commander, Atlantic Area; and Rear Admiral John Korn, Commander of the 7th District. Colonel Mike Prendergast, United States Army (Retired), and Executive Director of The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs will be the guest speaker. Colonel Prendergast is a Tampa native and a graduate of Clearwater Central Catholic High School. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and served in a variety of command and staff positions over the course of his Army career.
Local businessman and philanthropist Ed Ameen, who the Tampa Bay Lightning recently recognized as a community hero, is the dinner committee chairman. The committee also includes Florida State Representative Kathleen Peters and other local leaders and community members.
The 20th annual dinner event will be emceed by Dick Crippen, senior advisor for the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team and will be attended by Master Chief Eric Kalita, Command Master Chief of Jacksonville-based HITRON, and his daughter Sydney — a Coast Guard Foundation scholarship recipient and University of South Florida student, where she is pursuing a degree in the medical field. Also in attendance will be Commander Bruce Melnick, USCG (Ret.), a Clearwater native and graduate of Clearwater High School, and the first Coast Guard service member to become an astronaut.
“We are honored to host this tribute to the brave members of the US Coast Guard’s Seventh District who enforce maritime law, protect our homeland and preserve the environment in throughout the south; and are very happy to have such a distinguished list of speakers and guests at this year’s dinner event,” said Anne Brengle, president, Coast Guard Foundation. “We proudly support the Coast Guard and truly appreciate the help our donors and constituents provide so that we can continue our mission to provided education, support and relief for these heroes.”
The Coast Guard Foundation’s 2013 Tribute to the Coast Guard in the Seventh District, celebrating the bravery of the men and women serving throughout the southern United States, will take place Friday, November 8, 2013 at the Renaissance Vinoy Hotel, 501 5th Ave NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. The event will begin at 6:30 PM with a cocktail reception followed by dinner and the program at 7:45 PM. For more information on the event, the Coast Guard Foundation or its programs, please visit the www.coastguardfoundation.org or call (860) 535-0786.