Seamen’s Church Institute’s Silver Bell Awards Dinner raises $750,000 in support of mariners and seafarers

2023 Lifetime Achievement Award given to New York Bishop Andrew Dietsche

Seamen's Church Institute
Posted Jun 13, 2023

Seamen’s Church Institute’s Silver Bell Awards Dinner — 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award given to the Rt. Rev. Andrew ML Dietsche, XVI Bishop of New York (center).

On June 8, 2023, the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) welcomed maritime leaders and supporters for its 45th Annual Silver Bell Awards Dinner. This year, the Silver Bell Awards Dinner honored two distinguished individuals who demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication within their respective fields. Robert P. Burke, CEO and Principal of Ridgebury Tankers, received the Silver Bell Award. The Rt. Rev. Andrew ML Dietsche, XVI Episcopal Bishop of New York, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

SCI President and Executive Director, the Rev. Mark Nestlehutt, noted: “The Silver Bell Awards Dinner is our annual celebration of this wonderful maritime community. It is also a time for us to remember those who work difficult and demanding jobs on ships, moving much of the world’s goods over water and between nations. It was an honor for us to recognize two extraordinary individuals last night, Bob Burke and Bishop Dietsche, who, in their distinguished careers, have been dedicated champions for seafarers.

The smoke from the Canadian wildfires that had shrouded Manhattan lifted in time for the opening parade of vessels on the Hudson River, blessed by Bishop Andy Dietsche, assisted by Bishop-coadjutor, Matthew Heyd, Suffragan Bishop, Alan Shin, and Assisting Bishop, Mary Glasspool. The Port Authority Police Department Pipes & Drums then led the event’s 500 guests into dinner while the United States Coast Guard Sector New York Color Guard opened the dinner, followed by the singing of the National Anthem by members of the USMMA Mariners Chorus, who also closed the evening with the hymn Eternal father, strong to save. A thunderous fireworks celebration over the Hudson, capped the celebration.

The 2023 Silver Bell Awards Dinner raised over $720,000 for SCI’s mission to support the material, personal, and mental well-being of international seafarers and domestic mariners. Mr. Nestlehutt added, “We were thrilled with this event and so grateful to our guests and benefactors who share the spirit of our cause and gave so generously last night.”

Since its founding in 1834, the Seamen’s Church Institute has grown to become the largest and most comprehensive mariners’ service agency in North America. Through its Center for Maritime Education, Center for Mariner Advocacy, Port Newark International Seafarers’ Center, and Ministry on the River and Gulf, SCI works diligently to promote safety, dignity, and improved working and living conditions for those serving in the maritime workplace.