(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) — More than 300 guests came out on Saturday to honor artist, conservationist and entrepreneur Guy Harvey as this year’s recipient of the Seafarers’ House International Golden Compass Award.
The award is given each year to those who have achieved distinction in the maritime world, those whose vocation or avocation has been the sea, or those who have ministered to or otherwise assisted seafarers.
The event, which took place at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale, raised more than $300,000. The evening began with a VIP reception that included a list of who’s who in the South Florida maritime and philanthropy community. This year’s co-chairmen were Ann M. Burris and Capt. Eugene Sweeney.
Harvey, who posed for photos with guests and signed autographs, has been a champion of the seas since an early age. The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation is well known for its research in marine biology and the message of stewardship and conservation of the oceans.
“Ninety percent of world trade is carried by the global shipping industry and the Seafarers’ House helps to care for the hard-working men and women who keep this industry moving. Your support is crucial to their success and I thank everyone for their contributions to the cause,” Harvey told the crowd. “The sea can mean many things to different people. It can be a place for fun and recreation, or a place for quiet reflection. It can sustain civilizations, or be a community’s greatest threat. It powers the global economy and the global climate. And, one thing is for certain, the planet's health and people's health are dependent on maintaining healthy oceans.”
Guests were treated to a night of Caribbean-themed entertainment featuring Junkanoo performers and a reggae singer. Gordon Latz got the crowd going with a live auction, during which guests were able to bid on a number of spectacular items including: a diamond starfish pendant donated by Windsor Diamonds; a Guy Harvey original painting; an African safari package donated by the Zulu Nyala Group; a Napa Valley Backroads and Railways package donated by Winspire; and a cruise donated by Azamara Club Cruises.
Jewelry, gift baskets, sports memorabilia and artwork, all donated by Seafarers’ House supporters, also were up for bids during the evening’s silent auction.
“This year’s gala was a huge success thanks to the incredible support from our donors and those who worked so hard behind the scenes to make it all come together,” said Seafarers’ House Executive Director Lesley Warrick. “The money we raise will go toward furthering our mission to offer refuge, resources, renewal and respect to the maritime community.”
Past award recipients include international seafaring hero Capt. Richard Phillips; Joseph Farrell, Resolve Marine Group; Roberto Giorgi, V.Ships; Dan Sten Olsson, managing director and CEO, The Stena Group; Adam Goldstein, Royal Caribbean International; Stein Kruse, Holland America Line; Capt. Nicola Arena, MSC Cruises; and Thomas B. Crowley Jr., Crowley Maritime Corp.
About Seafarers' House
Seafarers' House at Port Everglades is a nonprofit organization supported by the faith-based community as well as by labor, business and civic leaders with a mission "to offer refuge, resources, renewal and respect to the maritime community through multi-faith service." Open throughout the year, Seafarers' House is a safe, friendly place where mariners can connect with their families, relax, or get emergency assistance if needed. With the help of its supporters and volunteers, Seafarers' House offers many services including low cost international phone calls, free transportation, Internet access, counseling services, liaison with authorities as well as recreational facilities. Seafarers' House was honored as the 2015 Seafarer Advocate of the Year by Lloyd’s List North America and received the 2014 Salute to Business award from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, Seafarers’ House was honored with the Seafarers' Center of the Year award from the International Committee on Seafarers' Welfare — the first American agency to receive this international honor. Seafarers' House annually hosts more than 150,000 visits by cruise and cargo ship crewmembers. For additional information, visit www.seafarershouse.org.