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Press Releases

Susan G. Komen Foundation And Riviera Beach Maritime Academy's Mermaid Reef To Launch!

August 10, 2016

For Immediate Release

Riviera Beach Maritime Academy
Susan G. Komen South Florida
Contact: 561-644-6614 or [email protected]

 

Artificial Mermaid Reef Deployment at Sea, Featuring the Face
of Palm Beach County 3x breast cancer survivor.

Singer Island – Riviera Beach, Florida., August 11, 2016, off Ocean Reef Park. Weather pending, members of the media and distinguished guests are invited to a press conference and opportunity to capture the deployment of "Andrea's Reef" from a large chartered vessel (the Majestic Princess) on Thursday, August 11, 2016 at  9 AM. The massive artificial reef, weighing in at 60,000 pounds is a 20' x 15' - 6 piece sculpture to be placed at Sea, 1 mile NORTH of the Lake Worth (Palm Beach) Inlet in 75' of water, and located 3/4 mile EAST at Sea, off the shores of Ocean Reef Park on Singer Island, FL. 

The Press Conference with 3x Cancer Survivor Andrea Torrente, Artist Thomas McDonald, Susan G. Komen, and Students from Riviera Beach Maritime Academy will start at 8:00am SHARP and end at 8:15am. Media set up can begin at 7:45am.

The life-size MERMAID, which features the molded/sculpted face of Palm Beach County 3x breast cancer survivor Andrea Torrente,  is the centerpiece of the reef which also contains Roman columns, a treasure chest, sea turtles, and stingrays. The work of art was sculpted by Virginia artist Thomas McDonald, and designed and constructed by the high school students of the Riviera Beach Maritime Academy. The reef will officially be named "Andrea's Reef" attracting scuba diving, fishing, snorkeling and tourism to her new home on the ocean floor.

Any Boat owners are encouraged to come out and witness this event as we Deploy Andrea's Reef at Sea.

This event is dependent on weather and ocean conditions and is subject to change. 

The boat will leave the dock from Riviera Beach Marina/ Marine Village at 8:30 AM SHARP. 

In case of inclement weather and/or Sea conditions, the backup date is Friday, 

August 12 at 9 AM., following the same guidelines stated.

If you are interested in attending the Press Conference and secure a spot on the viewing vessel, The Majestic Princess, please contact [email protected] or call Judie Gibson at 561–644-6614 to receive further details on the day, time, weather and meeting location. The viewing vessel, the Majestic Princess is located at the Riviera Beach Marina/Marine Village at 

200 E. 13th St., Riviera Beach, FL 33404

IMPORTANT FACTORS

>The Press Conference with 3x Cancer Survivor Andrea Torrente, Artist Thomas McDonald, Susan G. Komen, and Students from Riviera Beach Maritime Academy will start at 8:00am SHARP. Media set up can begin at 7:45am. It will conclude at8:15am.

>This event is dependent on weather and ocean condition and is subject to change.

>You must RSVP to secure your space at the press conference to [email protected] Please bring appropriate press identification. 

>The entire deployment will take approximately 2 hours. However, ocean and weather conditions could cause a delay. We encourage scheduling additional time to prevent appointment conflicts.

> There will be an opportunity to hear opening comments and portions of the press conference and get off the boat before it leaves the Marina at 8:30 am to head out to the deployment site at sea.

> We will be out in the open ocean. Motion sickness can come on fast and we strongly encourage you to take precautions, well in advance, so that you do not have an unpleasant experience on the boat. We will not be returning to the dock should people become ill from motion sickness.

> Dress is business casual attire. Please wear comfortable lightweight clothing and slip proof shoes.

> Light breakfast refreshments will be served.

Notable Quotes

Andrea Torrente: 

"It's so tough fighting this disease every day and now for the third time… And to get a call saying "you're going to be a model for statue of a mermaid on a new artificial reef in Palm Beach County was amazing! It really makes a difference. It lifts your spirits and is inspiring to others with cancer and battling illness. The reef will bring new life and hope to other survivors while improving our marine environment."

"During my first diagnosis in Jamaica, I had health insurance at my job as a Police Officer. When we moved to the United States, before I had a chance to find work in local law enforcement, I was quickly diagnosed with breast cancer for the 2nd time... But this time with no health insurance. It was then I heard the beautiful and powerful name Susan G Komen South Florida! 

Here is the bottom line… You all don't know it, but even though you don't know me...you saved my life, and for that I am truly, forever in your debt! It is because of the generosity of people like you, I have the opportunity to raise my daughter. Each of you who have donated to Susan G Komen South Florida "For the Cure", have given me the precious and priceless gift of life, and time with my daughter! And for this, all I can say is a sincere and heartfelt thank you! I beg you to continue to stand "For the Cure", so that other women like me half a second and third chance at life"

Thomas McDonald, Sculptor

"I work at a women's health clinic in Roanoke Virginia. I'm very familiar with breast cancer; I've had people with breast cancer in my family. So I just thought of the idea, and thought let's go ahead and find someone with breast cancer and make her the face of the mermaid."

"Why not build a new artificial reef system for the millions of residents of Palm Beach County to enjoy? Or for the 4 million visitors that come to our area each year and hundreds of thousands of divers that explore our Palm Beach County waters. I chose to work with one of the best Maritime High Schools in the state of Florida, the Riviera Beach Maritime Academy. It's a great school and one of few in our country that teaches the Marine Industry and includes STEM. I sculptured and molded the pieces, they designed and built it. They're great kids, extremely talented and knowledgeable so once you see our new artificial reef you'll see the important roll they played in this. The students  are getting an incredible education and learning experience from this project and from the fine teachers at the Academy."

"And why not work with Susan G Komen South Florida, who have transformed how the world treats and talks about breast cancer. Most people don't realize that all the fundraisers and Races for the Cure actually fund full treatment for people like Andrea Torrente who now has become the perfect Ambassador for the face of the Mermaid. She has become one of my daily inspirations. I pray for a cure every day, and now have the honor to assist in changing 'the FACE' of breast cancer by making patients into survivors"

Riviera Beach Maritime Academy President, George Carter

"This was a fabulous opportunity and learning experience for our students in many ways. They not only had a chance to create and engineer something of great importance to the marine ecosystem and environment, but Andrea's Reef is even more of an honor to them because it raises awareness for breast cancer as a cause. We've always been a school that gives back and supports our community of Riviera Beach and surrounding areas, but this project let them see, feel, and understand the impact they could make in someone's life. It really changed them."

"We are so grateful for the tremendous efforts of Artist Tom McDonald, the Environmental Resource Management Team, Susan G Komen South Florida, McCulley Marine Services, Pura Vida Divers and especially to Andrea Torrente  for allowing us to be part of this dynamic project!"

About Susan G. Komen® and Susan G. Komen® South Florida

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen® and launched the global breast cancer movement. Komen South Florida is working to better the lives of women facing breast cancer in the local community. They join more than a million breast cancer survivors and activists around the globe as part of the world’s largest and most progressive grassroots network fighting breast cancer. Through events like the Komen South Florida Race for the Cure®, Komen South Florida has invested over $16.7 million in community breast health programs in Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie counties. Up to 75 percent of net proceeds generated by the Affiliate stays in the South Florida area. The remaining income goes to the national Susan G. Komen Grants Program to fund research. For more information, call 561-514-3020 or visit www.komensouthflorida.org.

About the Riviera Beach Maritime Academy

Riviera Beach Maritime Academy is a Charter School committed to providing students with a rigorous academic and hands on education and career exploration within the Marine Industry. RBMA focuses on the maritime, robotics, science, technology, engineering and math industries. Florida is home to an $20 billion marine industry. Marine businesses in Florida include, but are not limited to Marina's, boat and yacht builders, charter brokers, boat engineering, environmental studies, mechanics, yachting hospitality and many more marine supported services. The Riviera Beach Maritime Academy enhances and prepares learning opportunities for students to position themselves as an essential contributor to the marina district, prepares them for college and future education, and assists them to become outstanding participants in society and active in our community.

For more information, call 561-841-7600 or visit www.rbmaritime.org