The following is the text of a news release from the Passenger Vessel Foundation:
(STODDARD, Wis.) — Today the Passenger Vessel Foundation announced receipt of its largest donor gift to date. The Padelford Packet Boat Co. has provided a gift in excess of $155,000 to the foundation.
“The Passenger Vessel Foundation is overwhelmed with this generous gift. It is a wonderful way for the current owners of Padelford to continue the memory of Capt. Bowell for many years to come while ensuring years of support to the foundation's mission,” said Rob McMahon, Passenger Vessel Foundation president.
The Padelford Packet Boat Co. was founded in 1969 by Capt. William D. Bowell Sr. and continues to operate today on the Mississippi River from Harriet Island, St. Paul, Minn. The gift to the Passenger Vessel Foundation in part will form an endowment allowing for semi-annual grants awarded in the name of Bowell. He served as the first president of the National Association of Passenger Vessel Owners (NAPVO) from 1971 to 1979, known today as the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA). Bowell was part of the inaugural class inducted into the PVA Hall of Fame in 2011.
Steve Bowell, president of Padelford Packet Boat Co., said, “Our Industry depends on an educated work force and a safe operating environment for future growth and sustainability. The foundation provides resources that help our industry grow."
Capt. Gus Gaspardo, company vice president and co-owner, serves on the board of directors of the PVA. “We are excited for the opportunity to further the good work of the Passenger Vessel Foundation. It was especially meaningful for our founder, Capt. Bowell, to be remembered while furthering the education and safety causes in passenger vessel industry.”
Founded in 1994, the Passenger Vessel Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) organization established to ensure that the passenger vessel industry continues with its dedication to continue furthering the education and development of safety resources.