NEWPORT — The Memphremagog Community Maritime (MCM) group says they are moving towards their goal of keeping the Northern Star in the Northeast Kingdom.
MCM has been working to keep the boat in the community so that it can continue to be available for cruises and as a floating classroom for lake studies and nautical experiences.
The group was recently awarded non-profit status, making it eligible for grants and able to accept tax-deductible donations.
Treasurer Susan Watson confirmed that the organization had received its first grants and is now raising money to ensure that the purchase of the Northern Star can happen as soon as the boat is available.
“The absence of the Northern Star on the lake has been a significant loss for the community this year,” said Patrick Martell, President of the Charter Member Board. “She has been missed. People are constantly asking when they will be able to cruise again.”
The group is now actively fundraising to allow for the purchase of the Northern Star.
Once that happens the boat can be inspected and the hull repainted, restored, and made ready to sail Lake Memphremagog again.
The group says they plan on having a full schedule of cruises for next spring and summer, as well as special onboard events.
Through partnerships with other lake based organizations, a curriculum for environmental lake based studies are being developed.
“We would love the community to become more involved,” said Vice President Mark Hayes. “We are looking for imagination and investment of time as well as of dollars.”
Member Patricia Kilday added that it is the perfect time to keep the Northern Star here as we are recognizing the real concerns for the long-term health of our international lake.
“This beautiful boat will give us a way to do that and encourage younger people to become aware of how to keep our waters clean,” she said.
The group says they feel that if the boat is lost it is unlikely another boat will be available in the future.
“Keeping her afloat for the benefit of the community seems important,” Martell added.
If you are interested in keeping the Northern Star afloat go ahead and contact Patrick Martell at 802-673-0115 or email MCMNorthernStar@gmail.comAre you on Instagram? Cool. So are we. CLICK HERE to follow us for a behind the scenes look at Newport Dispatch.