Ten-year celebration for sober youth getting ship-shape

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Community invited to come aboard the Tacoma Youth Marine Center’s 10-year celebration on Sept. 17

By Tami Jackson
tjackson@tacomaweekly.com

Feeling nauti? The Tacoma Youth Marine Center (TYMC) will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary inside its historic boatshed on the shores of the Foss Waterway at 820 E. D St. on Sunday, Sept. 17 from 5-9 p.m. Tickets for the dinner and presentation range from $40 to $1,200 and can be purchased from ymftickets.eventbrite.com.

This celebratory event will provide a sit-down Italian dinner with fresh oysters and samples of local red and white table wines along with other brews, courtesy of Chambers Bay Distillery and Dunagan’s Brewing and Chelsea Farms Oysters. Then to really get things floating, a silent auction focused on selling unique maritime items and antiques will also take place.

I Like Big Boats And I Cannot Lie

Oh buoy! The night’s main speaker will be a representative of the maritime industry who is used to being on very big boats. Jay Mooney, port captain and regional operations manager at Washington State Department of Transportation – Ferries Division (WSF), said he plans to talk about WSF’s recruitment processes and will explain how the Sea Scouts program can help bring the entry-level seaman to a higher level. Mooney said that TYMC makes the participating youth more apt to become successful in the maritime career field.

“I also plan to review the vacuum of qualified personnel we’re experiencing in the maritime industry as a whole,” said Mooney.

According to Malcolm Russell, executive director at TYMC, other speakers will include youth who are currently in the different affiliated programs, parents of participating youth and an individual youth who has already found success in the maritime sector and who is now giving back to the community.

 

Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Back Into History

In early 2007, The Youth Marine Foundation (TYMF) purchased a privately owned boat repair business for relocating the Tacoma Sea Scouts base and for mooring all three of the Sea Scouts ships, named Curtis, Odyssey and Verite. Once the TYMF board realized the new facility had enough real estate to provide more services, they determined to create a waterfront campus that now provides educational development programs for youth, where training focuses on boating instruction and maritime career training. The new center also provides waterfront access to the Puget Sound and that’s the story for how the “Tacoma Youth Marine Center” was first launched and continues to set anchor.

Ten years ago, the three Sea Scouts ships had roughly 125 youth crewmembers and 40 adult Sea Scouts mentors and volunteers. Those numbers have remained steady all these years but the TYMC’s operations have expanded with new programs like the summer youth boating day-camp, where students ages 11 to 15 can learn boating, seamanship and sailing skills.

According Russell, TYMC partners with the Tacoma School District and with local youth groups to get more young people out onto boats. TYMC’s mission is to be the access point to the Tacoma Waterfront for area youth. The offering continues to grow and the potential is limitless, he said.

As an ongoing effort, TYMC keeps updating the marina. “Since we started in 2007 we have added new docks to the facility,” Russell said. TYMC has also added a new building, which houses a classroom and meeting space. Then TYMC completed a major remodel of their administrative and business spaces this year.

“As we grow, campus space and dock space for programs becomes move vital,” Russell said. “We are also working now to find ways to expand the amount of dock space available by negotiating with our neighbors both north and south.” He also said TYMC wants to build more docks for current and future programs

 

Local Youth Marine Foundation’s Most Vintage History 

Originally established as a non-profit organization in 1996 to help raise funds for the Tacoma Sea Scouts, the local Youth Marine Foundation (YMF) went through changes beginning in 2005 because the dilapidated building they called “Sea Scout Base” was going to need future repairs. Located just south of the Murray Morgan Bridge on Dock Street, the old facilities (managed by the Foss Waterway Development Authority) was also in the path of Foss Waterway revitalization plans. So the YMF purchased the privately owned boat repair business across the waterway, which is now home base for the Sea Scout program and for the TYMC.

For more information about TYMC or the ten-year celebration event, contact Russell at (253) 572-2666 or by email mrussell@youthmarinefoundation.org.

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