July 21, 2017

The public is cordially invited to join the Door County Maritime Museum, Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club and the Sturgeon Bay Coast Guard Committee in honoring all nominees for the Mariner Award and the Sturgeon Bay area Coast Guard Person of the Year. The award presentation dinner takes place Monday, August 7, 2017, at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club. Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by the award dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Presented jointly by the Door County Maritime Museum and Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club, the Mariner Award recognizes individuals who have had a significant positive and lasting impact on the Door County maritime community. One living and at least one posthumous award are presented each year. All nominees are recognized and honored during the award ceremony.

The living recipient receives the Mariner Award trophy, a hand-crafted original work by noted Door County wood carver David Frykman. 

The posthumous award recipients receive special recognition at the dinner and their names are permanently displayed on the Mariner Award plaque that is prominently featured in the upper lobby of the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay. The award is intended to be very inclusive, recognizing nominees who have contributed significantly and positively to any segment of the local maritime community.

Receiving the Mariner of the Year Award last year was Dick Purinton, accomplished historian, published author, and president and owner of the Washington Island Ferry Line. Last year’s posthumous honors went to local maritime legends:  Jeff Weborg, commercial fisherman from Gills Rock and altruistic community member;  August Rieboldt, one of the founding fathers of Sturgeon Bay’s shipbuilding heritage and Alanson Sweet, the real driving force in the growth of Baileys Harbor and the county as a whole. 

“The selection committee faces a formidable task each year in selecting the winners from a distinguished and deserving group of nominees,” said Amy Paul, the museum’s executive director.

The living nominees for the 2017 Mariner Award are Steve Brunstrom, Martha Burress , Dennis Hickey, Bill Parsons, Ken Schmidtke, William “Curly” Selvick, Leathem “Tim” Stearn and Todd Thayse.

Nominees in the posthumous award category are Minnie Hesh Cochems , Joseph Harris, Jr., Clifford B. Hart, Ingar Olsen, George Pinney, John Thenell and Arthur Zuehlke.

Sponsored by the City of Sturgeon Bay Coast Guard Committee, Greater Green Bay Council of the United States Navy League, Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club and Door County Maritime Museum, the Coast Guard Person of the Year award recognizes a local active duty Coast Guardsman who exemplifies the Coast Guard’s core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty. The honoree is selected from among nominees submitted by the three local Coast Guard units—USCGC Mobile Bay, Marine Safety Detachment Sturgeon Bay, and the Canal Station. All nominees are recognized and the winner announced at the award dinner.

This year’s nominees are Petty Officer Ross Hughes, stationed at Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay; Petty Officer Jacob Whitsell, USCGC Mobile Bay; and Chief Warrant Officer Jim Condra, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired), Marine Safety Detachment.

Dinner includes a salad, rolls, entrée selection and dessert for $43. Entrée selections are Marsala chicken (chicken with Marsala mushroom cream sauce, baby reds and mixed vegetables), beef tenderloin (6 oz. beef tenderloin with demi-glace, baby reds, and mixed vegetables) and garlic lime shrimp (shrimp seasoned with garlic and lime, served with rice pilaf). Tax and gratuity are included in the price. A full cash bar is also available.

A portion of the price covers the cost of hosting and honoring the Coast Guard Person of the Year nominees. As a unique way to show appreciation for the dedicated service of local Coast Guardsmen and their families, the public is invited to “sponsor a Coastie” to attend this special award event. The $43 donation enables a greater number of young Coast Guardspersons to attend the award dinner to see their peers honored by the local community.

Reservations are required. Please contact the Door County Maritime Museum at (920) 743-5958 no later than Friday, July 28, to make your reservation.

The Coast Guard Person of the Year and Mariner Award dinner is part of the Sturgeon Bay Maritime Week: A Salute to the United States Coast Guard celebration. This unique festival brings together many long-standing annual events along with new and exciting activities to celebrate Sturgeon Bay’s rich maritime heritage and honor local Coast Guard personnel and their families.

Information on other Maritime Week events can be found on the Door County Maritime Museum’s website,

Media contact:

Mary Stephenson, Special Events Coordinator