Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chairman Westover Stepping Down

Effective upon the announcement by the board of directors of the SS United States Foundation of a new leader, I will no longer serve as Chairman of the SS United States Foundation. It’s been an incredible twelve years and I have been honored to lead and inspire those seeking to Save the United States. When news arrived that Norwegian Cruise Lines would no longer attempt to refit the Big U, I knew a tremendous effort would have to be launched to bring the type of attention needed to make an 11th hour and 59th minute rescue necessary.
However, after over a decade of countless hours working to save our great national flagship, I knew I didn’t have the stamina for another full throttled battle. Unfortunately, my doctor confirmed this and without getting into details, I need to ease my load somewhat—at least for now. But don’t think for a minute I’ve completely resigned my effort. I will continue to fight on through social marketing efforts and occasional visits to thought influencers when and where the board of directors deems it appropriate.
Our accomplishments over these twelve years have been tremendous. Some of the highlights include:
•Placement of the SS United States on the National Register of Historic Places •Two front page national sections stories in the New York Times (the first such national coverage in nearly fifty years) •Repeat national and international broadcast exposure on ABC World News Tonight, CNN Live and the World News Service of the BBC •The Addy award winning advertising campaign “Save the United States” •Yahoo.com’s 2003 “Website of the Day” for http://www.ssunitedstates.org/ •The book “SS United States Fastest Ship in the World” now in its third printing •And, most importantly, building a national movement from scrap with an active membership and supporters base of thousands!
If this ship is saved, it will not be because of any one person, or even an one organization, it will be because we as a group of dedicated enthusiasts inspired a nation to save one of it’s most unique and irreplaceable treasures. I will go down with this ship. I will not give up the fight. God bless all of you and God “Save the United States”!
Robert Hudson Westover Founding Chairman SS United States Foundation Washington, DC
Some of the latest stuff:
Turning Publish is reprinting the popular “SS United States Fastest Ship in the World”! To get a copy go to: http://www.turnerpublishing.com/detail.aspx?ID=528 This two-hundred page plus coffee table book contain more photos and color pictures than any other book ever printed about the SS United States. It’s considered a most have by maritime historians and a most read by ocean liner enthusiasts.
Recent Media on the effort to Save the United States:
The Examiner
Help save the SS United States tonight at IKEA South Philly The SS United States Conservancy and IKEA South Philadelphia will join together tonight for an Outreach Event and Campaign Update focusing on the preservation and restoration of the cruise liner/naval auxiliary ship, the SS United States. Beginning at 6 until 8 p.m., a buffet dinner and program discussing the vessel’s history and future will occur at IKEA South Philadelphia Restaurant and CafĂ©, 2206 South Columbus Boulevard, which provides a waterfront view of the ship and Pier 81 on the Delaware River where she is docked. For the full story go to: http://www.examiner.com/x-10357-Philadelphia-Cultural-Events-Examiner~y2009m7d31-Help-save-the-SS-United-States-tonight-at-IKEA-South-Philly
ABC News
PHILADELPHIA - July 30, 2009 -- Philanthropist H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest has pledged a $300,000 matching grant to help a nonprofit buy a historic cruise ship that is rusting away on Philadelphia's waterfront. (The comment about the SS United States Foundation is incorrect. The event mentioned was hosted by the SS United States Conservancy) For the full story go to:
The Post and Courier Ship lovers fear fabled liner lost
Bill Wood has marveled at the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley. But the fate that likely awaits the cruise ship S.S. United States has left him and other ship enthusiasts from the Carolinas teetering on depression. For the full story go to:
South Philly Review Shipping out
Before the SS United States relocated to her current home of the last 13 years at Pier 82 across from IKEA, she was moored for about a week a bit farther south at Packer Avenue Marine Terminal. For the full story go to: