The Maritime Academy of Toledo Foundation wrapped up a successful Admiral’s Ball Weekend on Saturday, April 12, with the fourth Annual Admiral’s Ball and Charity Auction. More than 130 people attended the event which brought in $22,000 for the educational needs for cadets at the school.
The theme for this year’s event was “Chart Their Course for Success With Us”. It was sponsored by The Toledo Blade, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Dickenson Wright PLLC, Genoa Bank, IBEW, Local 8, as well as Ed Conn and Saga Schoffner.
The fourth Annual Admiral’s Ball and Charity Auction also had the support of an Honorary Committee led by Honorary Chairman, Peter de la Porte, Honorary Consul / Kingdom of the Netherlands. Honorary Committee members included: Mark Barker: President, Interlake Steamship; Ed Blankenship: President, Payroll Solutions; Jim Brennan: President, Brennan Industrial Truck; Lawrence J. Burns: Vice President, External Affairs, The University of Toledo ; Joe Cousino: Business Manager, IBEW-Local 8; Ray Laraby: Treasurer, Carpenters Local 351; Dan Morey: Financial Secretary, Carpenters Local 351; Dr. Arthur H. Sulzer (Ret. USN): President, Arthur H. Sulzer Associates, Inc.; Paul Toth, Jr.: President & CEO, Toledo Lucas County Port Authority; The Honorable Tom Waniewski: Toledo City Council - District Five; and Carol Wolosz: Executive Director, Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute.
The Admiral’s Ball started in 2011 as the annual major fund raiser for The Maritime Academy of Toledo. Among the items up for bid were a Great Lakes Freighter Cruise for six, a tug boat cruise, a Florida vacation, flying lessons, a Tennessee chalet vacation, and nautical items handmade by cadets in the school’s Boat Building Lab.
“Over 220 cadets attend The Maritime Academy of Toledo with over 80-percent living at, or below, the U.S. poverty level. The Maritime Academy’s mission includes providing cadets with a college-prep education focusing on STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. This gives cadets the opportunity, with the latest technology, to pursue higher education or careers in the maritime industry directly out of high school,” said Renee Marazon, President, The Maritime Academy of Toledo Foundation.
Over the past two years a one-day, K – 12 Maritime Education Symposium was added as part of the Admiral’s Ball festivities. The symposium is held the day before the annual ball with maritime industry professionals, unions, and educators meeting to share thoughts and ideas on how to best educate the next generation of the maritime workforce.
This year’s symposium was held on Friday, April 11 with more than 50 maritime professionals in attendance. This year’s conference was titled “Using Simulation Technology and Experiential Learning to Educate the Next Generation of Great Lakes Mariners”.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated that jobs in the maritime industry will increase by 20 percent by the year 2020. At the same time, they warn that the U.S. is not educating enough people to meet that need.
Joel Szabat, Executive Director, Maritime Administration (MARAD) delivered the keynote address. Other maritime professionals participating in the conference included Joseph P. Starck Jr., President Great Lakes Shipyard; Rich Eisenberg, Director Bayfront Maritime Center; Linda O’Connor, Asst. Director CTE Education, Ohio Dept. of Ed.; Keith Christopher, National Director, Sea Scouts of America; Carleen Lyden-Kluss, Executive Director NAMEPA; Captain Eric Johansson, Professor SUNY Maritime College; Glen Kolke, Manager Marine; Marazon, Wolosz and Dr. Sulzer.
Those attending also took part in a ribbon-cutting / VIP reception to unveil the completed first phase of The Maritime Academy’s new multiyear maritime simulator project. The recently completed first phase includes a Class-A Full-Mission Bridge simulator and a simulation radar classroom for 16 cadets. Both simulators are certified for U.S. Coast Guard approved courses. Those participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony included Peter de la Porte, Honorary Consul, Kingdom of The Netherlands; Betty Sutton, Administration, St. Lawrence Seaway Corp.; The Honorable Marcy Kaptur, U.S. 9th Congressional District; The Honorable D. Michael Collins, Mayor, City of Toledo; Toth; Dr. Sulzer; and Marazon.
The new simulator project agreement was announced last September. It is a partnership between The Maritime Academy and VSTEP of the Netherlands. The agreement called for a new state of the art, NAUTIS full-mission-bridge simulator and radar simulation classroom to be installed on the Second Floor of One Maritime Plaza, with additional NAUTIS simulators added in the multi-phased project expected to last through 2017. Additional phases include a tug boat simulator, crane simulator, and eventually an engine room simulator. VSTEP will showcase Toledo as a “VSTEP/NAUTIS Simulation Center”, with their state of the art simulator technology. VSTEP says it plans on bring its U.S.-based customers to Toledo to view their new technology.
Phase one redevelopment work on the second floor of One Maritime Plaza started last November with the Carpenters Local 351 and IBEW Local 8 donating labor for the redevelopment. The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) donated $5,000 for electrical materials. That work was completed in January when VSTEP engineers started work on the installation process. Installation was completed in late January. After that simulators were load with necessary software, configured, and tested. Following that, teachers were shown the simulators and started their work developing lesson plans. Cadets started utilizing the new maritime simulators in late March.
The proceeds from the Admiral’s Ball Weekend events go to help the educational needs of the cadets at The Maritime Academy.