Second Large Gift Boosts Campaign to Save National Symbol “We are the United States” Fundraising Campaign Now at Almost Sixty Percent of $500,000 Goal
For the second time in as many weeks, a major lifeline has been tossed to America’s Flagship, the SS United States, as the organization working to save the iconic oceanliner races against time. The SS United States Conservancy is proud to announce a donation of $100,000 from Christie Peck of Long Beach, California, to boost the group’s “We are the United States” campaign, which is now nearly 60 percent of the way toward meeting its $500,000 goal.
The national nonprofit organization, which saved the SS United States from certain destruction in 2011, seeks to revitalize the famous vessel as a stationary, mixed-use, landmark destination. The Conservancy is also committed to the long-term effort of locating, preserving and showcasing thousands of original artifacts, as well as archival documentation, from America's Flagship.
“We hope that Christie’s generosity and passion for saving the SS United States will inspire others across the country and around the world to support our campaign,” said the Conservancy’s executive director, Susan Gibbs. “We continue making progress in identifying a permanent location for the ship as well as potential developers interested in activating the ship’s commercial potential. Christie’s support, combined with big and small donations from so many others, have given America’s Flagship a critical lifeline.”
The donation comes on the heels of a $150,000 gift from cruise industry executive Jim Pollin earlier this month that extended the Conservancy’s fundraising campaign into mid-September. The Conservancy’s board of directors was just days away from deciding whether to recycle or reef the ship due to the financial burden of maintaining the vessel at its current berth in Philadelphia.
“I am thrilled to be able to do what I can,” says Peck, who passes the RMS Queen Mary regularly. The RMS Queen Mary, the Cunard Line vessel vanquished by the SS United States in the transatlantic speed race, has been successfully restored in Long Beach, CA, as a permanently-docked hotel and mixed-use attraction.
“It is beyond my comprehension that this iconic American treasure, a ship that embodies everything great about our country and our history, is still fighting for her life,” Peck continued.
Peck has long had a fascination with ocean liners and has fond memories of watching them sail in and out of port. She is also a passionate advocate for at-risk youth and is an active supporter of Meals on Wheels, Operation Gratitude and other charities.
"I want to personally thank the Conservancy for all its hard work, and also for the class and dignity it has lent to this cause,” said Peck. “People had forgotten about this great American symbol. Others didn’t think she could survive and thrive. Perhaps my donation will make even more people believe otherwise."
About the SS United States Conservancy A national nonprofit organization, the SS United States Conservancy leads the global effort to save and repurpose America’s Flagship, the SS United States. The Conservancy raises public awareness and financial resources for the maintenance, restoration and ultimate reuse of this iconic vessel and works to ensure that the fastest ocean liner ever to cross the Atlantic remains an inspiration for generations to come. For more information about the SS United States Conservancy and America's Flagship, visit ssusc.org or the Conservancy's Facebook page.