- Published on Wednesday, 18 April 2012 04:11
- Written by Jaabir
17 April 2012NEWPORT, R.I. – Rhode Island’s first education-at-sea tall ship, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, is on its way to completion, and a fund raiser to be held on Thursday, May 17 (6:30-9:00 p.m.) will bring the community together to celebrate and learn more about the vessel, which aims to sail as a 196-foot (sparred length), three-masted, square-rigged tall ship by July 2013. With the theme “A Star to Steer Her By,” the fourth annual event is hosted by the non-profit organization Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI) and has been moved from its previous location of Harbour Court to Castle Hill on Ocean Drive in order to accommodate the ship’s growing following. Encouraging participation from across Rhode Island and the region, the ticketed event will include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while featuring a live auction (7:30), with all proceeds going to the ship’s construction and education programs.
Sponsors for the fund raiser at press time include Island Outfitters, Newport Harbor Corporation, Newport Storm Brewery, Thomas Tew Rum and Vineyard Vines. Among the prized auction items are luxury accommodations in Europe, scenic New England retreats and classic yachting adventures.
As of January 2012, OHPRI had raised nearly $5 million toward its $7.4 million fund raising goal. Currently, the hull of the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry is berthed at Senesco Marine in North Kingstown, R.I., where it is undergoing major steel work in preparation for its upper deck and the addition of 331,650 pounds of lead ballast. The ship’s mission is to be Rhode Island’s flagship non-profit maritime campus, offering experienced-based core learning opportunities to a diverse student population, including those with disabilities.