June 14, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friends Host Reception and Dinner on Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. – The Friends of the Cruiser Olympia hosted a dinner on Thursday night, June 23, 2011, in the historic Mike Mansfield Room of the U.S. Capitol to raise awareness of their efforts to save, restore and preserve the Cruiser Olympia from destruction by neglect. The purpose of the dinner was to educate the distinguished guests on the history of the Cruiser Olympia and the activities of the Friends organization, whose mission is preservation and interpretation. Those attending included representatives of the US Navy, DoD, Navy League, Naval Historical Foundation, US Naval Academy Alumni Association, Key Congressional staffs from the House and Senate Armed Services Committees and the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation, the US defense industry, and the international community. Messages of support commending the Friends for their preservation activities were read from Rep.Todd Akin(R-Mo) Chairman of the House Seapower Subcommittee and Rep.Robert Brady (D-PA), who represents Penn’s Landing, (central Philadelphia waterfront) PA. where the Cruiser is berthed.
Jay Richman, President of the Friends of the Cruiser Olympia, commended all of the attendees for their support and interest and indicated that the organization …”has embarked on a major Capital Campaign designed to restore, preserve and create a ship museum dedicated to America’s history and greatness.” Bruce Harris, Executive Director of the group, indicated that they have begun with this dinner a major outreach program in the Congress, government and defense community which will see numerous projects in 2011-2012 to reach our goals.” Our 1921 Project will be unveiled shortly which will enhance the historic linkages we have undertaken to highlight the Cruiser’s contribution to our nation.
The ship’s hull is covered with hundreds of patches, and inspectors have concluded that the ship could decay to a point beyond saving within a few years if nothing is done. The current custodian of the ship, the Independence Seaport Museum, does not have the funds necessary to dredge the marina, tow the ship to dry-dock and restore it. Without major refurbishment, and a plan for its future use and preservation, the Olympia will either sink at its moorings on the Delaware River, be sold for scrap, or be scuttled for an artificial reef just off Cape May, New Jersey.
The Friends of the Cruiser Olympia, Inc., is a IRS Code Section 501(c)(3)non-profit, corporation whose donations are tax deductible whose sole mission is to restore, preserve and educate the US public on the Cruiser Olympia in Philadelphia as a national heritage site. It seeks to preserve the Olympia’s structure, history, heritage, and tradition as a national treasure.
For further Information:
Bruce R. Harris
Friends of the Cruiser Olympia
The Keepers of Our Naval Heritage
Two Penn Center Plaza, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
W (215) 854-6309
Fax (215) 569-0216
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