2015-07-09 / Mainsheet

Build It and They Will Come


Bart Dunbar and Admiral Tom Weschler, U.S. Navy Ret. Bart Dunbar and Admiral Tom Weschler, U.S. Navy Ret. After six years of planning, passionate fundraising, and construction, Rhode Island’s official sailing education vessel SSV Oliver Hazard Perry was dockside at the Newport Shipyard for Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island’s “Homeport Rhode Island” gala on July 3.

Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island’s (OHPRI) annual gala celebrated this unprecedented $16 million economic development project, which has supported hundreds of jobs in the Rhode Island marine industry. Now, the ship is nearly complete and will begin its sailing education mission this summer.

OHPRI’s Board Chairman Bart Dunbar was also honored for his unfailing devotion to OHPRI’s education at-sea mission. He and Rear Admiral Thomas Weschler, another sail-training stalwart, received equal amounts of congrats for their roles in realizing the dream. The evening was full of fanfare and flourishes, down to the most minute of details: men’s bow ties and attendees wearing orange, the color of the evening. Even the Blackstone Caterers wait staff sported orange bowties.


Kathleen and Peter Morse Kathleen and Peter Morse Another highlight of the evening was boarding and touring the 200-foot-long vessel, walking the decks, seeing the gleaming woodwork, miles of ropes and rigging, and gazing up the masts with flags and pennants flying.



Diane and Robert Beaver Diane and Robert Beaver

Neal and Sara Harrell with Morgan Huntley Neal and Sara Harrell with Morgan Huntley

Ann and Admiral Jim Hogg, U. S. Navy Ret. Ann and Admiral Jim Hogg, U. S. Navy Ret.


Darcy and Jason Carr with future OHP sailors Campbell and Madeline Darcy and Jason Carr with future OHP sailors Campbell and Madeline

The Nuit Blanche July 10 The Nuit Blanche July 10

15th Anniversary Gala July 30 15th Anniversary Gala July 30

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