BUFFALO — The Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park has officially launched the largest fundraising campaign in the 40-year history of the park. With a goal of $1,000,000, Save The Sullivans is set to raise the money needed to make permanent repairs to the hull of the USS The Sullivans.
USS The Sullivans (DD-537) a 78-year-old Fletcher-Class destroyer that saw action in World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War is a major attraction at the Buffaloand Erie County Naval & Military Park.
USS The Sullivans is named in honor of the five Sullivan brothers who, serving together on the light cruiser USS Juneau, were all killed in action on its sinking around Nov. 13, 1942. The ship was christened by the fallen brothers’ mother, Alleta Sullivan, and is a National Historic Landmark. It holds a special place in our nation’s military history and a special place on the Buffalo Waterfront.
”Decades of harsh weather in Buffalo have taken a toll on the ship. The severely weakened hull was recently compromised below the waterline and the ship began taking on water.” commented Paul Marzello, president and CEO for the Buffalo Naval Park. “A full bow-to-stern survey of the ship’s hull was conducted, and an engineered plan developed for the necessary repairs. It involves applying a two-part epoxy coating to the entire hull below the waterline and the installation of a cathodic protection system that will prevent further corrosion of the USS The Sullivans, the USS Little Rock and the USS Croaker.”
Douglas Jemal of Douglas Development has volunteered to act as campaign captain of Save the Sullivans. “It is an honor for me to be a part of the effort to preserve this ship and honor the service and sacrifice of the Sullivan brothers,” he said.
The official launch of the Save the Sullivans campaign will be marked by a private fundraiser hosted by Jemal at 5 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day at the Naval Park. The invitation-only event will be the first major push towards raising the $1,000,000.
Kelly Sullivan, the granddaughter of Albert Sullivan, the youngest of the five Sullivan brothers, is making a special trip to Buffalo to attend the Save the Sullivans party. Jemal is covering travel and accommodation costs for Kelly to be in Buffalo for the event. Kelly, sponsor of USS The Sullivans DDG 68, is a third grade school teacher in Waterloo, Iowa.
Sullivan’s Brewing Company is also jumping on board the campaign effort. Michael Meade, a Buffalo native and CEO of the Kilkenny, Ireland based brewery, was instrumental in bringing Sullivan’s beer to North America and launching in Buffalo a few years ago. “ Buffalo is a second home for Sullivan’s. When we heard about the need to save the USS The Sullivans, it was a natural for us to get involved and help.” commented Meade. In addition to donating beer for the event, a team from Sullivan’s including brand ambassador and voice of the Buffalo Bills John Murphy will be on hand pouring Sullivan’s for guests.
Calling all Sullivans — In an effort to draw in more participation to the Save The Sullivans campaign, the Naval Park is asking all people with the last name Sullivan to contribute to the effort by making a $5 donation.
Contributions to the Save the Sullivans campaign can be made securely online at SAVETHESULLIVANS.ORG or by mail to Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, ATTN: Save the Sullivans, One Naval Cove, Buffalo, NY, 14202, or by calling the park directly at (716) 847-1773, ext. 10.
More information about the naval park is available at buffalonavalpark.org