President Britto’s Appeal

December 5, 2013


“I sailed on Ernestina on a field trip. I’d never been on the ocean before, and it changed

Ernestina-Morrissey: On the brink of a new chapter in her life of sailing.

my life. Will she sail again?”That’s the kind of declaration we hear all the time.   (In fact, take a look at this letter sent to the Standard Times by a 13-year old this week.)  Many, many lives have been changed by her – that’s the reason we have not given up on Ernestina-Morrissey, and we know you haven’t either.When we wrote to you last December, we shared that the Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association (SEMA) had developed a “VisionStatement,” which articulates a clear plan for Ernestina-Morrissey to be a sailing, educational vessel within the next two years. Today, we’re writing to say thank you and to let you know that because of you, we are almost there.  SEMA members, like you, sent a message that we would not abandon ship! That this ship is too historically important and culturally valuable for us to let her slip away like the tide.  And our voices were heard. We’re thrilled to report that DCR Commissioner Jack Murray and former Commissioner Ed Lambert are currently working on an exciting opportunity that will ensure a successful sailing, educational future for a fully rebuilt Ernestina-Morrissey. Through the generosityof individuals and other entities, we will likely be 95% of the way to financially fulfilling the goal of  our Vision Statement by the close of 2013.That leaves just 5%, approximately $250,000, needed to fully repair the ship. To this end, the HildrethStewart Charitable Foundation is offering a $125,000 challenge gift for the 2013 tax year. Every dollar, up to $125,000 that is donated will be matched. Help us meet the challenge!  This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. That’s why I will be sitting down with my family to discuss what level of donation we can make in this critical year. I’m asking you to do the same and make a transformative gift – one that will give Ernestina-Morrissey the final push-off and send her to the shipyard, to return majestically to Buzzards Bay like the Charles W. Morgan before her.

With gratitude and hope,

Julius Britto and the SEMA Board of Directors