Bayfront Maritime Center receives $100,000 donation for Schooner Porcupine project

The Bayfront Maritime Center (BMC) recently announced an educational partnership with Big Ideas Learning.

L to R: Rich Eisenberg - BMC Director, Dennis Williams - BMC Board Member and Bayfront Alternative Education Program Principal, Ken Phillips - Porcupine Volunteer Extraordinaire, Matt Totzke - Big Ideas Learning CEO, Susan Dombrowski - Big Ideas Learning VP Finance, Doug Boucher - BMC Board President with the presentation check.

Big Ideas Learning, a subsidiary of Millcreek Township-based Larson Texts Inc., has pledged $100,000 over the next six years to help BMC complete construction of its Porcupine Schooner project and to provide maritime-themed math curriculum for on-board programming.

Through this project, BMC will offer education programs for under-served youth aboard the newly launched, historically evocative 43-foot Schooner Porcupine, a representation of a Battle of Lake Erie gunboat schooner that was in continual service on the Great Lakes from 1813 through 1873. Porcupine will interpret over half a century of Great Lakes Maritime Heritage in her programs, tracing the original Porcupine’s career as a naval gunboat, coastal survey vessel, revenue cutter, and cargo schooner. Programs developed for and conducted on Porcupine will give students a first-hand look at the various trades and technologies of 19th century seafaring.

In the BMC boatshop, work is continuing on the schoolship, assisted with a $5,000 grant from the PNC Foundation.

BMC is encouraging the public to stop in to see the progress, volunteer, or donate to the cause.

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