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Construction Begins on Compass Rose

posted Sep 5, 2013, 2:13 PM by Eric Bilyou

May was a busy and exciting month for the Seward Mariners’ Memorial Committee.

Harmon Construction crews have begun work on Phase 2 – the compass rose— thanks to receipt of two grants and some fantastic community fundraising efforts.

The Mariners’ Memorial was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Seward Community Foundation and $10,000 from the Kenai Mountain-Turnagain Arm Corridor Communities Association (KMTA-CCA).

The Seward Community Foundation is an affiliate of The Alaska Community Foundation, a statewide non-profit organization that manages charitable funds allowing donors to advance a cause, support an organization or provide flexible support for community needs. Ron Long and Nancy Erickson accepted the grant at a donor appreciation and grant announcement event May 9 at Seward Brewing Company.

KMTA-CCA manages federal grant funding to national heritage areas in recognition of their unique natural, cultural and historic resources. Seward is part of the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area that was established in 2009, the first in Alaska and one of 49 Heritage Areas across the nation.

Shelly Shank at the Breeze Inn did a terrific job in organizing, promoting and manning a silent auction, bake sale, split the pot event May 18 during Harbor Opening. Liz Leech recruited a few musicians to entertain the crowd, resulting in more than $2,400 in donations. All proceeds from admission to the dance that evening at Chinooks was also directed to the Memorial project. Kenai Fjords Yacht Club again donated proceeds from their swap meet.

Pastor Ron Nitz and Rev. Richard Tero affiliated at the annual memorial plaque dedication ceremony May 18 at the SMM site, followed by the annual Blessing of the Fleet. Mark Chase led the group braving chilly winds in the seafaring tune, “Fiddler’s Green.” A ship’s bell donated by Carrie McCann was used during the dedication and rung as the names on each plaque were read.

During a recent visit to the memorial, it was noticed one of the plaques had a distinct lipstick imprint next to the name. It is for people like that anonymous kisser for whom the memorial provides a place of refuge. The Mariners’ Memorial – yours and mine – is for the many people still on shore as well as those who never returned.

For information on how to purchase a memorial plaque or make a donation, go to our Web site