There is hope for the Pride of Baltimore II, Charm City’s replica clipper ship that serves as an international ambassador from the Bay.
The tall ship was in danger of cancelling all travel and sitting at the dock indefinitely, thanks to a budget gap of half a million dollars. Bay Bulletin first reported on the funding shortfall in early February. To read about it, click here.
Thankfully, the Maryland General Assembly just squeaked a last-minute bill through to continue funding the Pride with $500,000 a year for the next five years, beginning in Fiscal Year 2019.
The Legislature’s move brings the ship much closer to resuming its voyages in the coming year. But the $500,000 funding only represents 40% of the total cost to operate and maintain the tall ship. At almost 30 years old, it requires $1.2 million to keep her going.
Says Pride, Inc Executive Director Rick Scott, “Planning an itinerary and programming for a tall ship requires a lot of lead time. With a five-year commitment from the State, Pride will be able to plan ahead and leverage the state support to attract additional support. In the next several weeks, the board of directors will determine when in FY19 the vessel will launch.”
Pride, Inc is still seeking private and business donations. To make one, click here.
-Meg Walburn Viviano