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SUNY Impact Foundation Raises Money for Disaster Relief
New York Ag Connection - 09/13/2017

State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson and SUNY Impact Foundation Executive Director Christine Fitzgibbons announced that more than $30,000 has been raised for Hurricane Harvey and future disaster relief, following Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's announcement of a statewide collection.

SUNY Maritime College's training ship, the Empire State VI, was loaded Saturday with supplies for Texas, including food and bottled water, as a result of the SUNY collection. Photos are available online, here.

Approximately half of the $30,000 raised last week was used to purchase 24 pallets of needed supplies for Texas -- the ship's capacity -- and half was allocated by some of SUNY's larger donors to seed an ongoing "SUNY Strong" fund, which the Impact Foundation will use to support future relief efforts in New York and nationally.

"The outpouring of support we've seen for SUNY Strong in a short amount of time has been truly astounding, with nearly 300 individual donations made online and in person. We even saw campus staff drive out of their way to donate in Albany," said Chancellor Johnson. "Thank you again to President Alfultis and his team for leading SUNY's effort to support recovery in the Gulf, and to all in the SUNY family whose incredible generosity led to the creation of SUNY Strong."

"We set out to purchase, package, and deliver two tractor trailers' worth of supplies to the Empire State VI, and the SUNY family literally outdid itself," said Fitzgibbons. "I am thrilled that the success of this effort led by Chancellor Johnson and President Alfultis has given the Impact Foundation cause to make SUNY Strong ongoing."

"SUNY Maritime College is proud to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and we are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from across the state," said Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis, president of SUNY Maritime. "The ongoing recovery efforts highlight the vital support SUNY Strong can now provide, as well as the importance of the Empire State VI and the other state maritime academy training ships equipped to respond and provide aid."

Beginning this week, the Empire State VI will make its way to Texas, where it is slated to provide housing, power, food, and water to first responders as directed by the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD). The Empire State VI was also activated in support of past relief operations, including Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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