Celebrating the Maritime Professionals and Patrons Who Make Extraordinary Things Happen for Nantucket Students
By Michelle Cartwright Soverino
On Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at Great Harbor Yacht Club, Egan Maritime hosted the second Sea of Opportunities Benefit Luncheon, honoring Sheila Lucey, Harbor Master, with a toast to its founding trustees and special remarks by Nathaniel D. Philbrick, founding Egan Maritime Executive Director and Trustee Emeritus. One hundred and fifty patrons gathered for the celebration, representing the island's maritime community and loyal philanthropists, along with professionals from the United States Coast Guard (USCG) who traveled to Nantucket to surprise Sheila at the event.
Egan Maritime was proud to recognize Sheila, sharing with the public her dedication to Nantucket and inspiring work with island youth. Her unparalleled admiration for Nantucket and its people is inspiring and commendable, and her impact extends far beyond the waters surrounding the island. “Sheila was an obvious choice. She does so much for island youth who are looking to get out on the water and work. She is an endless supporter of Sea of Opportunities, she keeps our waters safe, she embraces every niche of Nantucket’s diverse community, and she goes above and beyond in her service," noted Pauline Proch, Egan Maritime Executive Director.
Following lunch, Egan Maritime's first Executive Director and Trustee Emeritus, Nathaniel D. "Nat" Philbrick, spoke of Egan's transformation over thirty years, from the early years of Mill Hill Press to interpreting and exhibiting the Egan family's extensive collection of maritime art and artifacts. He noted that founder, Albert F. "Bud" Egan, had always "wanted a whaling ship in Nantucket's harbor," and it is serendipitous that the organization is now partnering with a Tall Ship to bring sailing experiences to the island's students and public.
Elevating the Luncheon's program, two of Sheila's colleagues from the United States Coast Guard participated in the day's events. Captain John Kondratowicz, Retired USCG and Emergency Manager for the town of Chatham on Cape Cod, served as the Master of Ceremonies, and John Edward "Jack" Downey, retired Command Master Chief, USCG, presented Sheila with her award, a painting of her beloved dog, Chance, by local artist Robert Frazier, after giving some warm regards and reflections on Sheila's many achievements, including being the first female surfman. Additionally, Sheila's staff worked with students past and present to produce a short video tribute, filled with thank you messages from her students. It was a moving moment for all to witness the endearing narrative of Sheila's influence and impact.
Following the Luncheon presentation, Robert A. "Bob" Egan, President Emeritus and Trustee, corralled the group in an effort to raise funds in support of Sea of Opportunities' many efforts with all Nantucket schools. More than $26,000 was raised and one hundred percent of those dollars support the program. Sea of Opportunities is a diverse offering of education and outreach programs available to every Nantucket student at multiple points throughout their student career. It seeds the maritime workforce of tomorrow and opens doors for local youth to opportunities that will enhance their futures and the island's coastal community. Since it's launch in 2012, the program has facilitated more than 4,800 student maritime education experiences.
The first Benefit Luncheon was held in 2018 to help offset the program's annual expense of $200,000, while providing a platform to recognize and celebrate the maritime professionals and patrons who make extraordinary things happen for Nantucket students. Egan Maritime is proud to thank the following individuals and businesses who went above and beyond the call of duty in their support of the 2019 Sea of Opportunities Benefit Luncheon.
Jessica & Drew Guff
Peg & Phil Condon
Joan & Paul Crowley
Jayne & Tim Donahue
The American Home Foundation - Lynx Project
Pamela & Max Berry
Marsha & Bob Egan
Nellie O’Gara & Kevin Hickey
Bonnie & Peter McCausland
Ginger & Marlin Miller
Teckla & Don Shackelford
Helen G. Shannon
Phyllis & Don Visco
All photos are by Katie Kaizer Photography. If you would like to order prints from the photographer or view the full gallery, please call Egan Maritime's administrative office at (508) 228 - 2505.