SIU Boosts Community Through ‘Paint Tacoma Beautiful’


Decembe 2014


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Pictured from left in the photo below are GUDE Abdulaziz Alsinai, SA Israel Serrano, SA Brian Long, homeowner Daniel Michalnak, OMU Al Seay, Administrative Assistant Brenda Flesner, SREC Brian Burchette, OMU Althea Earhart, GUDE Joseph Ritchey, SA Rupert Henry, Safety Director Ben Anderson and Port Agent Joe Vincenzo. (Click image for larger version)


For the eighth year in a row, Seafarers in Tacoma, Washington, helped repaint houses in the community as part of a volunteer program called Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful. The project, founded in 1985 by Associated Ministries of Tacoma-Pierce County, organizes volunteer crews to repaint the exteriors of homes of low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners in Tacoma, Lakewood, and communities throughout Pierce County each summer.


As in past years, the SIU effort was headed by Port Agent Joe Vincenzo and Administrative Assistant Brenda Flesner. This year, the SIU crew was also organized in part by Safety Director Ben Anderson. Anderson stopped sailing over a year ago to come ashore, and always expressed a desire to be involved with Paint Tacoma. He was joined by his wife, Dawnia, and their two children, Ben and Ashlynn.


The SIU volunteers were Vincenzo, Flesner, Anderson, retired SIU official Don Anderson, OMU Austin Anderson, ACU Rupert Henry, SA Moain Shaibi, QEE David Levi Kelch, SA Brian Long, SREC Brian Burchette, QEE Robin Bourgeois, GUDE Joseph Ritchey, AB Salah Muthana, AB Samed Kassem, QMED Ryan Palmer, AB Chris Johnson, SA Mused Saleh, GUDE Abdul Alamri, SA Israel Serrano, BREC Salvador Villareal, GUDE Abdulaziz Alsinai, OMU Al Seay, GUDE Rizalito Frigillana, OMU Althea Earhart, AB Marcus Hugee and retiree Omar Almaklani.


Vincenzo noted, “This year, Tacoma’s Seafarers took on two separate projects. Having volunteered for much of my adult life, it is always a matter of personal pride for me to see the happiness in the eyes of the homeowners who reach out for a service such as Paint Tacoma. Seafarers and their families have much to be thankful for, and much to be proud of after giving back to their community.”


One of the homeowners, Daniel Michalnak, said he is very grateful for the fresh coat of paint. “I was thoroughly pleased with the crew,” he stated. “They were all congenial and hard workers – a great group, really seemed enthusiastic about volunteer work.”


Michalnak continued, “Everything went smoothly for me. I did most of the prep work, and then they came in behind me and finished the job.”


QEE Bourgeois said, “It was my first year helping out with this great program, and it’s nice to help out and give back to the community. I just happened to be on vacation, and was excited for the opportunity to help out on two different homes. We had a phenomenal crew, which helped us paint the houses really fast. We had a pizza party afterwards, and the camaraderie was great.”


He added, “If I’m home, I’d definitely like to help out again next year.”


ACU Henry summed up the volunteer experience when he stated, “It was a good experience for me, because giving back to the community is a great thing. Whenever I’m not at sea, I jump at the chance to help out with a Paint Tacoma project. I’ve helped out several times over the years. This year turned out great; we made the houses look nice. They looked beautiful.”



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