by Carrie Christensen, Special Events & Online Giving Manager
On Thursday, June 7, over 800 individuals from the maritime industry celebrated with the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) at its 35th Annual Silver Bell Awards Dinner, raising over $865,000 for SCI’s programs serving mariners.
The theme of the evening, “Unsung Heroes,” highlighted the essential yet unrecognized contributions the maritime industry makes to our daily lives. Bruce Paulsen, SCI’s Vice Chairman, emphasized the theme in his welcoming remarks. “For all of us in the maritime industry—and indeed all of us who consume the goods shipped on the waters of the world—seafarers are our superheroes.”
SCI identified three champions in the maritime industry to receive the Institute’s highest honors. SCI awarded jointly James R. Barker and Paul R. Tregurtha the Silver Bell Award and honored the Right Rev. Mark S. Sisk with the Distinguished Service Award.
Paul Tregurtha, Chairman & CEO of Moran Transportation Company, and Jim Barker, Chairman of the Interlake Steamship Company, built what Tregurtha called “the largest transportation company in the world” during their impressive 40-year partnership. SCI’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Richard T. du Moulin, presented the award, calling it a poignant moment for him as the pair gave him his first job in shipping.
In his remarks, Tregurtha thanked SCI for providing the training, safety and care that gives the industry “happier, better-trained crews.” Both Tregurtha and Barker praised the importance and hard work of the entire maritime industry.
Accepting his award, the Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, 15th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and SCI’s Honorary Chairman, spoke of his pride that SCI, founded by the Episcopal Church, serves all those in harm’s way—regardless of their faith or beliefs.
The Silver Bell Awards Dinner, SCI’s premier fundraising event, consists of a Maritime Forum, a Parade of Vessels & Blessing of the Fleet, followed by the Awards Dinner at which it honors the industry’s top leaders. SCI has scheduled next year’s awards dinner for Thursday, June 6, 2013.