We were established in 1986 while the Stapleton Homeport was still an active U.S. Naval Base. The organization was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization in 1999.
At its inception we started as a community based “Adopt-A-Sailor” program, which enabled local families to adopt crew-members for the day and treat them to either
a home cooked meal, Family outings, home BBQ’s or visit the sites of New York City. Unfortunately after 9/11 this program had to be put to a halt due to security concerns.
We are an all volunteer staff which enables the group to fulfill it’s mission to provide recreation and morale while supporting the welfare of the visiting crew-members and their families to the New York City area.
Recently, an educational component was added to our program. This allows school age children to experience first hand the wonders of the ships and their crews.
Each year since 2000, the program has flourished and expanded. In 2014 over 9,000 school children from the tristate area came to visit and participate in the various programs and activities during the designated days of Fleet Week. As always admission is free.
Since all of Staten Island’s high schools accept community service credit from our organization for volunteering students a scholarship is also awarded each year to a college bound senior, based on the community service that he or she performs. This also gives the senior class students the opportunity to earn the mandatory required community service points needed for graduation and provides them with a sense of community spirit.
Staten Island Fleet Week events are accepted as “Community Service Projects” whereby the visiting crew members give back to the community. New York City Parks Department, Abandoned Cemeteries, pediatric units in local hospitals, senior citizen centers, and veterans’ organizations are just a few who have benefited from the fruits of their labor.
Staten Islanders whole-heartedly anticipate the arrival of Fleet Week each year. Prior to 2010 less than 20,000 guests have visited the Homeport for Fleet Week now with the growing support and our added attractions, in 2014 we counted more than 35,000 visitors which infused a financial influx into the neighborhood. The crew-members, their families, and the general public who are visiting the site utilize the services of local merchants. Banks, Hotels, Restaurants. Then there is the entertainment establishments who generally offer special discounts or courtesies to the military personnel visiting.
Veteran’s organizations open their hearts to the crew-members and provide various planned activities. Visiting personnel also participate each year in the annual Staten Island Memorial Day Parade.
2016 will be the 30th Anniversary of Fleet Week here in NYC and we will be celebrating it in a big way. We are finalizing the plans on a huge event which should show just how much we appreciate our troops and what they do to keep us safe.
We are also adjusting our mission to include raising funds to offer to a scholarship to one of our “fallen’s” children. So there hopefully will not be a need to worry about their education in the future.
Funding is always a concern. We earn by simply selling souvenirs, fresh bbq’d food and beverages to raise funds for our mission.
Staten Island Fleet Week is not subsidized by any government institution or any corporate entity, we rely solely on donations from our public and visitors for our efforts.
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