Sixteen iconic figures in the Door Peninsula’s maritime history and three local Coast Guardsmen were honored at the annual Mariner Award Dinner at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club on Aug. 8.
A joint effort by the Door County Maritime Museum and Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club, the Mariner Award is presented annually to recognize individuals who have had significant, positive and lasting impact on the Door County maritime community. One living and at least one deceased recipient are honored each year. The nominees for this year’s Mariner Award were Jeff Weborg, Minnie Hesh Cochems, Ingar Olsen, Steve Brunstrom, Joseph Harris Jr., Clifford B. Hart, Bill Parsons, Dick Purinton, August Rieboldt, William “Curly” Selvick, Leathem “Tim” Stearn, Alanson Sweet, Martha Burris, Dennis Hickey, Ken Schmidtke and Todd Thayse.
The 2016 Mariner Award living recipient is Dick Purinton. Purinton has worked more than 40 years with the Washington Island Ferry Line starting as a deckhand, progressing to captain, general manager and eventually company president and owner. Posthumous honors went to local maritime legends Jeff Weborg, August Rieboldt and Alanson Sweet.
Nominees for the Sturgeon Bay area Coast Guard Person of the Year were also honored at the dinner. This award recognizes a local active duty Coast Guardsman who exemplifies the Coast Guard’s core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty. The nominees for this year’s award were Machinery Technician First Class Nicholas Foster, Seaman Ashley-Starr Clark and Lieutenant Brett Belanger.
Seaman Clark, who distinguished herself for her dedicated volunteer work within the community from the time she was first stationed in the county, was this year’s Coast Guard Person of the Year.
The Coast Guard Person of the Year and Mariner Award dinner was part of the annual Sturgeon Bay Maritime Week: A Salute to the United States Coast Guard.