Rick Holmes, AFMM President
The AFMM is having another excellent year; visits and tours to the ship are up and the ship is really looking good. Our troop 2 and 4 spaces are now alive with historical information and displays. In May we hosted a fabulous LCI veterans reunion with 13 WWII veterans attending.
Anyone that has visited LCI (L) 713 knows the ship is invisible from Swan Island’s Lagoon Drive. Behind a locked gate, the ship is tied up at a Port of Portland moorage in the lagoon. But once the adventurous visitor finds us, we always receive high praises.
The AFMM is also all but “invisible” to the world beyond its supporters and veterans of the Gator Navy. Our professional fund raiser helped us earn two grants. One let us hook up to shore power and to buy and install a three-phase transformer. Now, we have full time security as well as the available power for heating and ventilation to protect our collection of historical artifacts and backup pumps to protect the ship. The grant also let us commission a hull survey. The significant finding is that the 250-ton LCI is structurally sound and could be hoisted onto a barge, hauled out of the water via a travel lift or floated into a dry dock. This is really great news, but the AFMM simply does not have the funds for any of these alternatives.
However, one of our volunteers has begun a project to help increase AFMM’s visibility and to encourage maritime organizations to help support restoration of LCI-713. J. Wandres is a retired U.S. Navy public affairs specialist. Along with J’s project we have begun work on a major social media campaign geared toward raising our public awareness and donations. These new programs will begin rolling out over the next few months. And we plan on continuing to pursue public and private foundation grants via our professional fundraiser.
Our mission is to keep the LCI-713 alive for the next 100 years, to remember and tell our veterans’ stories and to hopefully educate the public on a little bit of history, which seems to be sorely needed. We are already forgetting the lessons learned from not so long ago.
We need your continuing support to succeed. Our minimal annual operating requirement is $10,000, which includes only insurance, utilities and basic operating expenses. On top of that we have restoration expense, but we are selective and frugal so any extra income is saved for our ultimate goal: an operational ship. Your generous support and donations are crucial toward making this happen. Please help us succeed and “Launch the LCI-713”!
Here’s how you can help:
- Make a membership donation to the AFMM or upgrade your member level
- Purchase a membership for your family or friends.
- Sign up to volunteer in 2019.
Include us in your will, living trust, life insurance proceeds or retirement plan.
Make a secure online donation via our website: www.lci713.com