Good morning, Followers –
Massachusetts Maritime Academy cadets are involved in a wide range of community service projects, both on and off campus. To point out the importance of making a difference in the lives of others, all 4/C cadets are required to complete ten hours of community service during the academic year. The volunteering, however, does not stop there. Throughout their time at the Academy, cadets read at local schools, volunteer at community events, participate in clean-ups at the Cape Cod Canal, help out at charitable races and walks, and serve as big brothers or big sisters to children in need of a positive role model.
I know that many classes are collecting cans of soup for families in need as they participate in the Follow The Voyage – Share The Experience Program. I am happy that my last name, Campbell, and my former nickname, Soup, have inspired students to fill the shelves of local food pantries.
This theme of helping others continues tonight on the TS Kennedy. Even though we are miles and miles away from our homeport, the cadets and crew will be thinking of a favorite charity on Cape Cod. Tonight on the Helo Deck, the Commandant’s Office will hold its annual raffle and auction to benefit the Cape Cod Military Support Foundation. This organization helps military personnel and their families stationed at Joint Base Cape Cod, as well as families that are part of the Coast Guard Southeast Sector.
The Commandant’s Office has been selling raffle tickets – one for $5.00 or five tickets for $20.00. Many cadets purchased their tickets when they stopped by to do their banking last week. Cadets will have an opportunity to win a number of great prizes including a kayak, a week off from Morning Formation, or an extra day of liberty in Tampa. Every cadet is hoping to win one of the “no offload” prizes. This simple piece of paper will allow a cadet to walk off the ship when we reach port with no other obligations until classes resume in March. They may skip the required day of offloading supplies and equipment – a necessary job that no one enjoys.
The night will also include an auction. One of thee premiere prizes is the opportunity to be the first cadet down the gangway when the TS Kennedy returns to Taylors Point on February 23rd. The winner will see his or her family over an hour earlier than some of his or her fellow shipmates. When you’ve been away from home for six weeks, that first hug can’t come soon enough. In previous years, generous cadets have donated over $100 for this special privilege. Cadets can also bid on a movie night for four in my living room on the ship and a 9-foot Surf Paddleboard.
We are all looking forward to a night of laughter, excitement, and fundraising for deserving families back on Cape Cod.
I often share the photos, work samples, and questions from our K-12 participants. Last week, I received some extra special photos from what I believe are the oldest participants in the Follow The Voyage – Share The Experience Program. This week, the residents at Kirkwood Corners Senior Living Center worked together to bake and decorate a cake in honor of the TS Kennedy.
This is the fourth year that the residents of Kirkwood Corners have followed our cadets. Their Activities Director is the proud big sister of a cadet at the Academy.
During that time, the residents have learned that our ship has had three previous names; Velma Lykes, Cape Bon, and Enterprise. They also know that we have proudly cruised as the TS Kennedy since 2009 - just over a decade. The residents wanted to honor our ship's last milestone birthday with a delicious desert. Thanks so much, New Hampshire Followers! Your cake was a beautiful tribute to our ship!
Thanks for supporting our cadets!
Captain Michael J. Campbell