16 November 2017
PARA Members, Friends, Family, Coworkers, and members of the community.
As the 2017 boating seasoning comes to an end I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all PARA members for their service and to extend our thanks to their families for supporting them and their time commitments over the last few months.
We had 15 taskings this year, one of highest reported set of SAR (Search and Rescue) missions in our CCGA (Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary) district, and each one brought its own set of unique challenges and a chance to emphasize the eclectic skill level of all our crews. This year our missions included dislodged outdrives on a vessel issuing a Mayday call; stranded kayaks off the shoreline; multiple small boats drifting south with offshore winds and vessels with mechanical issues resulting in tows.
We also passed a significant milestone and celebrated by hosting our 50th Anniversary at Frenchman’s Bay Yacht club, a place we have called home for the past 27 years. This was an opportunity to recognize some of our long-standing members, those who have serviced the community for the better part of 40 years. It was a special honour to have the recognition from all levels of government; municipal, provincial and federal on our accomplishments over the first 50 years and their commit to continue to support us as we look forward.
Our funding strategy is taking shape and we look to continue to build a financial foundation for the future. A cornerstone of this is the generous operational support we receive from the Region of Durham. Its this funding which allows us to launch each year. In addition, we have received increased contributions from local municipalities like Pickering with the potential of others adding additional funds. A key to our strategy is continuing to look locally and this year we have been lucky enough to receive grants from yacht clubs and companies including Fairport Yacht Club, Ontario Power Generation and Firehouse Subs. We look forward to their ongoing support and working with others for additional support as we look to the future. Its these funds which help us keep our vessel up-to-date with the right equipment for the right situation.
With all that said, however, we never forget the direct support we receive from individuals themselves. Our members donate their time both on and off the water, for training, community events and public awareness activities. Without this dedication and devotion to duty we would not be able to fulfill our mission. This recognition continues to our extended PARA family who have donated over the past year. Whether its family, friends, co-workers or others its these donations that reminds us why we do what we do, its for you and for our community.
I would ask at this time, that you consider donating to allow PARA to help the person in the water.
Donations can be made online ( http://para-rescue.org/donate) or via cheque (payable to Pickering Auxiliary Rescue Association ) to the address above.
Our membership will be continuing their training over the off season and look forward to serving the marine community in 2018.