Coast Guard funding drive hits first target

Published 10:43 pm Monday, January 21, 2019

Greater Port Arthur efforts to boost local Coast Guard units have surpassed an initial, $22,000 benchmark.

Doreen Badeaux, immediate past president of the Port Arthur International Seafarers’ Center, said she would make Tuesday bank deposits that would push the fund-raising total past the initial goal set by the PAISC and the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce.

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The two organizations launched their local effort last week after Coast Guard members in and around Port Arthur did not get their mid-January paychecks because of the monthlong federal government shutdown.

The PAISC and chamber set their fund-raising goal at $22,000, enough to purchase $100 cards for each of the 218 Coast Guard members at the Coast Guard Marine Station Unit, Coast Guard Station Sabine, Aids to Navigation Team Sabine, Coast Guard Cutter Stingray and Liquefied Natural Gas Center of Expertise.

Badeaux said the Coast Guard Foundation would purchase cards and send them to the Chief Petty Officers Association, which is distributing supplies and distributing them to Coast Guard families.

“We’re definitely past the $22,000 mark,” Badeaux said Monday. She said money raised after that would go to a Coast Guard morale program to support the Coasties. There was no reason to halt the fund raising, she said.

On Monday evening, Badeaux said $17,220 was deposited Friday and the Sabine Pilots have reported an additional $2,700 in donations. A second company has pledged $2,200 to meet a match challenge from Thursday night. That brought the total of donations to $24,140 Monday.

The Chief Petty Officers Association is collecting canned goods and staples, household items and paper goods as well as cards for gasoline, local grocery stores and restaurants.

Drop-off sites for items collected to support Coast Guard families are:

• The Seafarers’ Center, 401 Houston Ave., Port Arthur.

• Dr. Kyle Bess’ office, 3875 Laurel Ave., Beaumont.

• Triangle Therapeutics, 2990 Laurel Ave., Beaumont.

• VA Office at Lamar University, 4400 S. Martin Luther King Parkway, Beaumont.

• American Legion, 922 Nederland Ave., Nederland.

• American Legion, Post 1, 1530 Ninth St., Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Information: Doreen Badeaux, Apostleship of the Sea, 409-985-4545.