SAVANNAH, GA – October 26, 2020 – Maritime Bethel Savannah (MBS) will be hosting their first ever – outdoor and socially distanced – fundraising dinner, ‘Savannah Maritime Matters,’ from 6 – 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13 at the Ships of the Sea Museum, 41 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Savannah.
This event will feature cocktails, a specialty dinner prepared by local Chef Nick Mueller, live music by The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, and tours of the Ships of the Sea Museum. MBS staff and volunteers are undertaking necessary safety precautions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic during this event, and everyone will be asked to socially distance within the beautiful outdoor venue.
Proceeds raised from this event will go towards MBS’s Capital Campaign, ‘Savannah Maritime Hospitality,’ which is working towards developing the non-profit organization’s facility for all of the many seafarers that visit our ports, a number which is increasing every year due to the success of the port. This project will help MBS acquire the main building of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Garden City and three acres of land, as well as the parsonage they are currently renting which is acting as a temporary facility and sanctuary for seafarers. The chapel will be used for worship, prayer and counseling and the activity building will house MBS offices for volunteers and staff, accommodation for seafarers as well as a room for seafarers to contact family via video chat, and a fellowship hall where seafarers can relax off-ship and enjoy various leisure activities.
According to the Georgia Ports Authority, the Port of Savannah is the largest single-operator and fastest-growing container terminal in America with over 78,000 seafarers and 4,200 ships visiting Savannah each year. In terms of total volume, it is the fourth-largest port in the nation. Many other international ports have centers for seafarers to access Wi-Fi to communicate with loved ones, relax, enjoy a meal, shower, do laundry or relish in time away from their daily routines onboard their ships, but unfortunately, Savannah does not yet have a haven like this.
“Many seafarers are only in Savannah for six to twelve hours after only seeing water and industrial ports with no natural beauty for weeks on end. Usually seafarers want someone to listen to them, counsel them and pray with them, and this is a vital part of our mission,” said MBS Executive Director John Houchens. “We are very excited to host our inaugural fundraising dinner to invite the local community to join us in our vision of being a ‘Home away from Home’ for seafarers, the port community, Savannah tourists and mission-minded Christians. Join us for an evening of fun, fellowship, and music all while supporting a good cause!”
Tickets are $75 per person or $500 for a table of eight. Sponsorship packages are available starting at $1,000 for a Deckplate Sponsor for a half-page advertisement in the program and recognition for the event. The next sponsorship level is a Bridge Sponsor for $2,500 which includes a banner for the donor organization’s name and brand image prominently displayed, a full-page advertisement in the program, advertisement in the slideshow, and an introduction before the night’s activities commence.
Since 2007, the faith-based Christian nonprofit organization has been providing “far away from home” personal, spiritual, emotional and practical support to seafarers who come into the Port of Savannah on ships from all over the world. MBS is not affiliated with any one church or denomination and serves all seafarers regardless of creed.
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