On behalf of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation (the Washington Foundation), Seaspan announced a multi-year donation of $1.1 million to three British Columbia marine and port community charitable organizations. Partnering with Sail and Life Training Society (SALTS), Vancouver Maritime Museum (VMM), and Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue (RCM-SAR), the Washington Foundation’s five-year commitment will extend through 2017.
“We are thrilled to be honouring three community partners that not only reflect the Washington Foundation’s focus, they are also tied to the waters and rich history of B.C.’s marine industry,” said Jonathan Whitworth, Seaspan’s CEO, speaking on behalf of the Washington Foundation. “Today’s announcement demonstrates an investment in helping strengthen our maritime history and culture.”
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation’s charitable donations are the organization’s first direct donation of their kind in Canada. Since its inception, the Washington Foundation has donated more than $144 million in the United States to hundreds of organizations that focus on education, health and human services, arts and culture, and community service.
Mike Halligan, Executive Director of the Washington Foundation, says today’s announcement is the start of an exciting inaugural collaboration with Canadian charitable organizations in British Columbia. “The Washington Foundation takes great pride in helping grow businesses and providing economic opportunities for young people, entrepreneurs and Aboriginal peoples. We are excited to help make a real difference in the communities where the Washington Companies, including Seaspan, Southern Railway and Envirocon Environmental Services operate.” SALTS will receive $100,000 per year from 2013 until 2017, while VMM and RCM-SAR will each receive $100,000 per year until the end of 2015.
“Each year, SALTS provides over 1700 young people with the life-changing experience of living in close community and learning to sail a traditional tall ship,” said Loren Hagerty, Executive Director. “The challenges and growth brought by life at sea help prepare each young person for life ashore. This generous donation will allow us to increase access to our program for young people who are disadvantaged or at risk, or suffering from serious medical conditions.”
“For more than 50 years, the Vancouver Maritime Museum has been the focal point of Canada’s Pacific coast for B.C.’s maritime culture and industry,” said Simon Robinson, Executive Director. “Thanks to this generosity, we will continue to do what we do best – chart the course of marine history for all British Columbians.”
“This contribution will enhance the readiness of our rescue stations around the Lower Mainland, and benefit our entire organization by helping build a new training facility for our nearly 1,000 volunteer crew members,” said Jim Lee, President, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue. “RCM-SAR is a vital part of the marine rescue system on the West Coast, and we are very pleased that the Washington Foundation and Seaspan are supporting the work we do to save lives on the water.”
The Washington Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Washington Companies. The term Washington Companies refers to the association of separate business entities in which Montana businessman Dennis R. Washington holds a significant ownership position. The Washington Companies are headquartered throughout the United States and western Canada and conduct business internationally, being involved in rail transportation, marine transportation, environmental remediation, demolition and mining, heavy equipment sales, aviation technology, and real estate development.