Ft. Lauderdale, June 6, 2012 – President and Chief Executive Officer Florida East Coast Railway was honored with the 2012 International Golden Compass Award by Seafarers’ House at Port Everglades at the organization’s annual award dinner and gala. Attended by over 400 guests in the elegant Crystal Ballroom of Pier 66 Resort in Fort Lauderdale, the event raised over $320,000 to benefit Seafarers’ House. One of the premier social events for the South Florida business and maritime community, the annual Golden Compass Award banquet honors the work of individuals who have achieved distinction in the maritime world, those whose avocation or vocation has been the sea, or those who have ministered to or otherwise assisted seafarers.
Said Executive Director, Lesley M. Warrick: “Florida East Coast Railway is bringing its Intermodal Container Transfer Facility to Port Everglades and in doing so will transform the movement of seaborne cargo to inland destinations. As the community center for Port Everglades, Seafarers’ House was proud to have this opportunity to honor the transformative vision and philanthropic legacy of Jim Hertwig, while at the same time bringing together the port community and the railroad community with members of the broader community in a new way. “
The event was chaired by Mr. Michael Hopkins of SeaChange Solutions teamed with Auction Committee Chair Ms. Maureen Orts of Holland America. Bill Panoff, Publisher of Porthole Magazine returned as the live auctioneer and Sixth Star Entertainment added their special brand of sparkle to a country-western themed evening of fun and celebration. The event’s Gold Circle of Friends and Benefactors included Cliff Berry, Inc., Florida East Coast Railway, James R. Hertwig & Family. The Silver Circle of Friends & Patrons included: Crowley Liner Services, Florida East Coast Railway; Holland America Line, National Maritime Services, Inc., Princess Cruises Community Foundation, Seaboard Marine, SEACOR Holdings, Inc.; and SeaFreight Agencies USA.
Seafarers' House at Port Everglades is a multi-faith cooperation with business and civic leaders with a mission "to offer refuge, resources, renewal and respect to the maritime community through multi-faith service." Selected in 2010 and 2011 as one of the top five seamen’s centers in the world by the International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare, Seafarers’ House works hard to ensure that its services meet the needs of visiting mariners as well as members of the port community. Seafarers' House represents a broad cooperation that cares for the workers that ‘invisibly’ strengthen the foundation of the cargo and cruise industry. Seafarers' House offers communication links with loved ones, multi-faith counseling, safe money remittance, free local ground transport and emergency assistance. Open throughout the year as a safe, friendly place where mariners can connect with their families, relax, or get emergency assistance if needed, Seafarers' House annually hosts more than 100,000 visits by cruise and cargo ship crewmembers. For additional information and the option to donate on-line, visit www.seafarershouse.org.