Thanks to people like you, 2013 has been a great year for effort to preserve “Big John” as a family attraction, education center and museum. Among our many successes, we are pleased to report that we are several steps closer to meeting the conditions laid down by the Secretary of the Navy and his staff in order to berth the carrier at one of the Naval Station Newport piers.
Our preliminary engineering review and cost analysis confirms that the former USS John F. Kennedy can be safely and cost-effectively moored at this location. In addition, host community Middletown’s Town Council voted overwhelming to support and encourage our vision.
We are also delighted to add former president George H. W. Bush to our ever-increasing list of prominent supporters. His voice joins those of former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, RI Governor Lincoln Chafee, both houses of the RI General Assembly, the RI Economic Development Corporation, the Newport and Bristol County Convention and Visitors Bureau and other members of the RI Congressional Delegation.
Our JFK initiative also boasts serious fundraising capability and credibility. Bill White is the former president of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in NYC and the founder and principal fundraiser for both the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and the nationwide Fisher Houses for wounded warriors. He has agreed to assist with our national and international campaign to generate major corporate sponsorships and individual donor commitments.
Since 1992 White can point to more than $600 million that he raised for the Museum and the Funds, from corporate sponsors and private donors as well as federal and state sources.
Our challenge now is to get to the point where Bill White can take over. We are still responsible for raising the interim working capital (estimated at $250,000) to operate day-to-day as well as complete the engineering and technical analyses required by the Navy before they give their final commitments for the berth and the ship.
More updates will be posted on the website as progress continues!