ALPENA - Lodge 19 of the International Shipmasters' Association donated a $500 check to the Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary on Tuesday in order to help support bus transportation for Northeast Michigan school districts to make an educational visit to the sanctuary.
Lodge 19 Secretary Charles Labadie said the association is donating the check to specifically support transportation for tours of the sanctuary for local school children.
"It's a great way for them to learn about maritime history and our Great Lakes, and we want to support it by funding for the costs of transportation," Labadie said.
According to Labadie, the association was first organized in the mid-19th century in order to support the families of lost sailors.
"That was a while ago, when there were a lot of people who were lost at sea. Now, the association is about supporting education and political action of maritime history and of our Great Lakes," he said.
Labadie said the association meets twice a month to serve all Great Lakes and is mostly made of members who are retired captains.
The Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary received the $500 check Tuesday, but last year several northeastern school districts were able to benefit from the donation.
Stephanie Gandulla, media and outreach coordinator, said the $500 check helped over 600 students receive transportation to the sanctuary for a field trip and extra educational programming.
Emily Siegmon can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687.