Red Hook

Anchors aweigh for #GetOnBoard support campaign for the Mary A. Whalen

October 22, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Ahoy water-loving Brooklynites! PortSide NewYork is launching a campaign to garner support for the Mary A. Whalen, a museum and floating cultural center. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan

Carolina Salguero is a woman with a mission. She wants you to share it.

She rescued a decommissioned oil tanker, the Mary A. Whalen, and spent a decade nailing down a long-term berth for the historic vessel that’s accessible to the public.

Now the 1930s-vintage ship, which she has turned into a museum and floating cultural center, is docked at Pier 11 in Atlantic Basin on Red Hook’s shoreline.

And PortSide New York — the 501(c)3 nonprofit she created that operates the Mary A. Whalen and advocates for a more ship-friendly city — is ready to kick off a year-long campaign to grow its budget, programs, space and team, including board members and salaried staff.

The #GetOnBoard campaign will launch on Tuesday, Oct. 27 with a fund-raising party at Hometown Bar-B-Que at 454 Van Brunt St. in Red Hook. Go to www.bit.ly/GetOnBoardportside for tickets for the evening event.

“New York City’s waterfront and waterways represent the biggest untapped potential in New York City,” Salguero said.

“PortSide’s 10-year search for a home taught us how and where the system needs changing,” she added. “PortSide connects New York City to maritime programs, businesses and ideas, helping to unleash that potential and funnel new energy into shore-side community development.”

The multi-pronged #GetOnBoard campaign will encourage people to host “friendraisers,” which is what nonprofits call parties for recruiting supporters. Guests at these parties don’t have to buy tickets like they would at fundraisers.

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The campaign will encourage people to ask their employers to donate money and donate themselves. Also, they will be urged to offer their help in a variety of ways from grant research to marine operations.

See http://portsidenewyork.org/getonboard/ to get in touch, and get involved.

Funding for the campaign launch is being provided by the Weather Company — which is a new national sponsor of PortSide NewYork. The company provides weather forecasts on the Weather Channel and Weather.com.  

As the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, residents of storm-swamped Red Hook recall the recovery work that PortSide NewYork did. The organization received a 2013 White House Champions of Change award for that work.

PortSide has a host of educational, recreational, job-training and resiliency programs it intends to expand.  A recent Brooklyn Eagle story spells them out in detail.   

Salguero is a crusader for the New York City waterfront, which she feels should be freely accessible to people on boats, whether for work or fun, as well as those who stay on the shoreline.

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