Groups contribute to Sea Scout campaign
By SHAY SEABORNE - For the News & Messenger
Patriot Scuba of Occoquan recently presented a check for $200 to Friends of Sea Scouts of Maryland, at the National Capitol Area Council Sea Scout Wardroom Dinner.
The donation arose from the dive shop's Discover Scuba Diving fundraiser for the Sea Scouts' "Save der PeLiKan Campaign." The project aims to raise $20,000 to repair the regional Sea Scout training vessel.
Numerous individuals, groups and businesses have made contributions totaling $12,000.
The 47-foot ketch named der PeLiKan has served hundreds of Scouts from across the country, providing opportunities for youth to work as a team on a vessel much larger than most Scout units can own. The boat is out of commission until the final $8,000 is raised and repairs are completed.
Patriot Scuba hosted the fundraiser in January, with help from Woodbridge Sport & Health, which donated the facility pool at no charge. The event allowed scouts to learn basic scuba skills and use the equipment under water.
"It was a pleasure for our staff to donate their time and for the store to donate the majority of the proceeds. We had a great time," said Patriot Scuba co-owner Jeff Currer.
Currer, a Navy captain, and his wife, Merial, attended the Wardroom Dinner and saw the Sea Scouts' formal landship ceremony. Currer said the couple appreciated "the chance to see these bright young Sea Scouts demonstrate their pride and professionalism, and have a lot of fun at the same time."
Watching the young men and women at the ceremony "further galvanized our support," said Merial Currer.
The business owners said they "hope other merchants in the area will also see the value of investing time or money in the Sea Scout program and the leaders of tomorrow."
Patriot Scuba continues to support the Occoquan Sea Scouts. Currer has joined the unit committee and has sparked the scouts' interest in the Sea Perch underwater robotics project.
Currer hopes that building and using the robots "will not only be fun and exciting, but also strike the imagination of these scouts as to what great things they may accomplish as they choose their careers and life path."
Patriot Scuba opened its doors in June. President Merial Currer and her husband chose Occoquan as the location for many reasons, including the uniqueness of this small town.
The Currers involvement in the neighborhood comes naturally from their military experience. "We love to work with people, build relationships, offer supreme quality in all that we do," said Merial Currer. "We take care of our customers as we take care of our community; they are family now."
Tax deductible donations to the Save der PeLiKan campaign can be made by check or by online PayPal transaction at http://www.derPeLiKan.org.
Shay Seaborne is skipper of Sea Scout Ship 7916 "Blue Heron," VFW 7916 in Occoquan.