District Minneapolis at various
Twin Cities high schools promoting the importance of achievement
in education. That evening, they
attended the Rough Riders Holiday
Party at the Minneapolis Club that
included a Toys for Tots event with
the U.S. Marine Corps.
On Dec. 14, after an appearance
on KARE 11 TV, the group spent
more than two hours at the station’s Toys for Tots tent. The Twin
Cities Council and Minnesota
Sailors later joined with U.S. Naval
Academy Alumni Association at
the SkyDeck Restaurant at the Mall
of America for the Army-Navy
football game, during which the
crew members signed USS
Minnesota posters provided by
Synergy Graphics of Plymouth,
Minn. Donations from the event
went to benefit the Minnesota
Military Family Foundation.
The visit concluded Dec. 15 with a
Vikings game against the Phila-
delphia Eagles at Mall of America
Field. The crew members, Skon and
Council Vice President Chip
Sharratt were introduced on the field
just prior to kickoff. Video from
Minnesota’s Sept. 7 commissioning
was shown, during which Ship’s
Sponsor Ellen Roughead read the
order to “Man our ship, and bring her
to life.” Sailors from the Naval
Recruiting District joined the group
as thanks for the Navy’s support of
the Punt, Pass and Kick competition.
Skon was scheduled to spend 48
hours underway on Minnesota Jan.
9-10. Along with Commanding
Officer CAPT John Fancher, they
hosted distinguished visitors from
the submarine’s commissioning during the underway that was part of
Minnesota’s homeport change from
Norfolk, Va., to Groton, Conn.,
where it will spend approximately
11 months in a post-commissioning
The USS Minnesota
Commissioning Committee/Twin Cities
Council is in the process of establishing a college scholarship on
behalf of the submarine and budgeting money for future crew visits,
according to Skon.
Key West Supports
The Coast Guard Cutter Charles
David Jr. was commissioned into
service Nov. 16 at Coast Guard Sector
Key West, Fla., during a sunset ceremony. Charles David Jr. is the first of
six Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) to
be homeported in Key West.
During the next 24 months, the
U.S. Coast Guard will commission
five additional new Sentinel-class
FRCs to be homeported in Key West.
The Key West Navy League Commissioning Committee is supporting
the commissionings through the
funding of activities traditionally
associated with them, separate and
apart from the U.S. Coast Guard,
according to a report from Council
Member Gidget Johns.
The Commissioning Committee
collects funds through an outreach/
outpouring of community support
in donations and in-kind services.
“Our donor support has been
extraordinary. We have such a small
community, but truly a very supportive one. To do what we have done
based on the size of our organization,
compared to larger councils, speaks
loudly regarding just how supportive
they are [in the community],” said
Stanley Rzad, committee chairman.
The committee has held several
fundraisers, including a Movie Gala,
sales at the Key West International
Superboat Races and other committee events. Through those efforts, the
Commissioning Committee hosted a
luncheon for the Charles David Jr.
crew and the family members of the
descendants of the cutter’s namesake
to meet, greet and get to know one
another. It also hosted a chairman’s
reception to acknowledge the Sponsor of the Ship Sharon David, the
Long Glass Presenter Richard
Swanson and donors. Plank Owner
plaques also were presented to the
crew of Charles David Jr.
“We are glad that we could help
continue those traditions and make
those presentations,” Rzad said.
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 64 SEAPOWER / FEBRUARY 2014
USS Minnesota crew members stand with former National Football League
defense tackle Tony Sirigusa, center, now with the Fox Sports broadcast
team, prior to the Minnesota Vikings-Philadelphia Eagles game Dec. 15 at Mall
of America Field in Minneapolis. The crew members, who were visiting as
guests of the Twin Cities Council, were introduced on the field prior to kickoff.