At the US Power Squadrons (USPS) Annual Meeting held recently in Jacksonville, Florida, five Squadrons from across the country and one District were honored with Distinguished Civic Service Awards. Sponsored by Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the awards are given annually to the USPS District and Squadrons in recognition of exceptional service and public boating safety education and service to the boating community.
This year’s gathering was extra special as it was the marking of the 100th Anniversary for the USPS, which began with the efforts of Charles Chapman, who in 1914 realized that owners of newly developed recreational powerboats needed instruction on how to operate safely and with confidence. Today, the USPS has over 400 regional “Squadrons” for owners of both sail and powerboats.
BoatUS Foundation Assistant Director of Boating Safety Ted Sensenbrenner, who presented the awards said, “Power Squadron members have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. These volunteers spend their own time teaching boating safety classes and give up their weekends to offer free vessel safety checks. We thank them for their commitment to help others out and greatly value the services they provide.
The five Squadrons that earned Distinguished Civic Service Awards in 2013 are:
St. Petersburg Sail and Power Squadron, St. Petersburg, FL
Lake Norman Sail and Power Squadron, Lake Norman, NC
Crystal River Sail and Power Squadron, Crystal River, FL
Peace River Sail and Power Squadron, Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, FL
Fort Macon Sail and Power Squadron, Morehead City, NC
Awards are determined by the amount of logged classroom hours, community outreach hours (including attendance at boat shows) and conducting vessel safety checks. These voluntary and free safety reviews are designed to educate boaters about recommended and required safety equipment aboard recreational vessels and to assess the condition of the safety equipment they have aboard.
Fort Macon Sail and Power Squadron also earned “Top Squadron” honors, for their creativity in bringing boating safety education and awareness of the Squadron’s activities to the public. The Squadron worked extensively with local press, through social media and with community groups and events to spread the boating safety message.
Five squadrons also earned Honorable mentions in the Distinguished Civic Service Awards:
Cape Fear Sail and Power Squadron, Cape Fear, NC
Charleston Sail and Power Squadron, Charleston, SC
Raleigh Sail and Power Squadron, Raleigh, NC
Vero Beach Sail and Power Squadron, Vero Beach, FL
Virginia Beach Sail and Power Squadron, Virginia Beach, VA
The Top District Award, which recognizes the collective efforts of all of the squadrons within a region, went to District 27, which is made up of 20 squadrons in North and South Carolina.
About United States Power Squadrons:
Organized in 1914, United States Power Squadrons (USPS) is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation and related subjects. Our members are boating families who contribute to their communities by promoting safe boating through education. We enjoy participating with our fellow members on the water and in the classroom. USPS has nearly 40,000 members organized into over 400 squadrons across the country and in some US territories. USPS is America's largest non-profit boating organization and has been honored by three US presidents for its civic contributions. Each squadron's activities involve the three primary objectives of USPS: community service, continuing education, and enjoying the friendship and camaraderie of our fellow members. For more, go to http://www.USPS.org.
About BoatUS and BoatUS Foundation:
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its over half-million members with government representation, services such as 24-hour dispatch, on water boat towing as well as roadside assistance for boat trailers and tow vehicles, feature-packed boat insurance programs, money-saving benefits and vital information that improves the boating, fishing and sailing lifestyle. Its 501(c)(3) nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating, and provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America's waterways and keeping boating safe. For more, go to BoatUS.com or BoatUS.com/Foundation.