Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island Challenge Grants

Grants Require Donors to Act before the New Year

Before the New Year, Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI), the non-profit organization behind Rhode Island’s official sailing education vessel SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, hopes to have two new challenge grants matched, which will generate nearly $1.2 million in new contributions. Given by an anonymous donor, these challenges are meant to encourage contributions from $1,000 to $500,000 to help conclude construction of the tall ship for a July 2013 commissioning.

According to OHPRI Chairman Bart Dunbar, these two new challenge grants, called the Plank Owner Challenge and the Shipbuilding Syndicate Challenge, give further evidence that people are very committed to this project and eager to see it through to successful completion. “We are excited that this opportunity comes at such a critical time in our shipbuilding schedule,” said Dunbar, adding that upon commissioning, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will sail as a 196-foot long, 13 ½ story tall ship offering experience-based education programs onboard. “As I speak, the new stern, Great Cabin and bow are about to be constructed, sails are being made, and the education programs and partnerships with schools are forging ahead.”

Dunbar stressed the need for timeliness in getting the word out about the matching grants and encourages people to react before the December 31, 2012 deadline. “It’s a quick turnaround, so we are asking for help to build the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry today,” said Dunbar.

The Plank Owner Challenge
For four years, OHPRI has been offering Plank Owner recognition for donors who pledge between $1,000 and $20,000 over two years. With over 225 people, businesses and foundations now donating as Plank Owners, OHPRI is encouraging both existing and new supporters to participate in the Plank Owner program before December 31st to double the amount of their donations.

The Shipbuilding Syndicate Challenge
For all new donations and two-year pledges between $25,000 and $500,000, the anonymous donor will commit a 50 percent match up to $250,000. Once fulfilled, this challenge will produce $750,000 toward the project. For contributions toward this challenge, there are distinct naming opportunities onboard the ship.

To request more information on the Plank Owner and Shipbuilding Syndicate challenge grants, please contact Perry Lewis at 401.841.0080 or lewis@ohpri.org. Pledge and contribution forms can be found on www.OHPRI.org and mailed to OHPRI, 29 Touro Street, Washington Square, Newport, R.I., 02840. OHPRI is also encouraging involvement in the building of Rhode Island’s official sailing education vessel through its Oliver Hazard Perry Community Volunteer Program. Follow OHPRI on Facebook

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