Campaign raises repair funds for USS The Sullivans
BUFFALO (Tribune News Service) — The Buffalo and Erie County Military and Naval Park has exceeded its goal to raise $100,000 for emergency hull repairs for USS The Sullivans, but there is more work to be done.
Park officials are now focused on raising $1 million needed for permanent repairs to the historic USS The Sullivans.
"We knew Buffalo being the City of Good Neighbors would come through and raise the money needed to keep The Sullivans from sinking, we didn't know we would exceed our initial goal by such a significant amount." commented Paul Marzello, president and CEO of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park. "Donations came in and continue to come in from veterans, family members of veterans, the general public, and the business community. The generosity of the people of Western New York is incredible."
At last count, a total of $230,000 has been raised with more donations coming in.
Lending a major hand in this effort was Scott Bieler, president and CEO of the West Herr Automotive Group. West Herr donated $50,000 to the effort as a community challenge to accelerate the initiative. "Thank you to Scott Bieler and the West Herr Automotive Group for their leadership gift," Marzello added.
Said Bieler, "We know how critical the Naval Park and the USS The Sullivans is to Western New York. When we heard of the emergency fundraising need we immediately felt compelled to help. West Herr is honored and humbled to play a part in assisting this collective community effort."
"In addition of making a major contribution to the All Hands On Deck campaign, Douglas Jemal of Douglas Development stepped in and has agreed to captain the next phase of our fundraising effort to raise a total of $1 million to save The Sullivans," Marzello said.
The plan to permanently repair the hull of the USS The Sullivans requires a full underwater team of divers that will apply an epoxy coating to the entire exterior hull of the ship. The process which creates a water-tight barrier that strengthens and protects the thin steel of the hull from further deterioration is expected to take 3-4 months to complete.
The Naval Park is now extending the All Hands On Deck campaign to Save the Sullivans with a goal of raising the $1,000,000 it needs to permanently repair the USS The Sullivans. Contributions can be made securely online at keepingourshipsafloat.org or by sending contributions to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, ATTN: All HANDS ON DECK, One Naval Cove, Buffalo, NY 14202 or by contacting the Naval Park directly at 847-1773.
More information about The Park is available at buffalonavalpark.org
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