Blessing of the Fleet

Click here to go to the Our Lady of the Rivers Shrine website for more information about the statue.

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THEME AND DATES HAVE BEEN SET FOR 2014, THEME IS "NOAH'S ARK". THE BENEFIT FOR THE BLESSING OF THE FLEET WILL BE SATURDAY AFTERNOON, JUNE 14TH, 2014 AT ALTON MARINA IN ALTON ILLINOIS AND THE BLESSING OF THE FLEET / PARADE OF BOATS WILL BE SATURDAY JULY 19TH, 2014. MORE INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED AS PLANS ARE FINALIZED.

Blessing of the Fleet 2014 theme

The Shrine of Our Lady of the Rivers (where the Blessing of the Fleet takes place) in Portage des Sioux MO was one of the locations selected for the "Cakeway to the West" celebrating the St. Louis area's 250th Birthday. It will be on display at the entrance to the Shrine through the end of 2014. More information on the cakes can be found on the organization's website http://www.stl250.org/ More pictures are posted on the Shrine's website http://ourladyoftheriversshrine.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand made model of the Blessing of the Fleet by Glenn Folkerts

Click here to see all the pictures

 

T-SHIRTS ARE STILL AVAILABLE CLICK HERE OR ON POSTER BELOW TO PRINT OUT AND MAIL IN AN ORDER FORM

More pictures have been posted, Thanks Sherry Lorance! Click on the Photos tab to see all the pictures.

More pictures have been posted, Thanks Bob White! Click on the Photos tab to see all the pictures.

2013 Winners

Click on a picture to see a larger version

Cruiser
Winner
"The Shark"

Cruiser Crew
Winner
"The Shark"
Houseboat
Winner
"Sea Hag"
 
Pontoon Boat
Winner
"Attack of the Tooner Sharks"
Pontoon Crew
Winner
"Attack of the Tooner Sharks"
Runabout
Runabout from Port Charles
 
Sailboat
Winner
"Tranquility Base"
 
Judges Choice
Winner
"Oh Yeah"
 

Judges Choice
Winner
"Ora Lea"

 
Judges Choice
Winner
"Sound of Pleasure"
Judges Choice Crew
Winner
"Sound of Pleasure"
Con Trios Yacht Club Member
Winner
"The Shark"
Con Trios Yacht Club Member Crew
Winner
"The Shark"

More pictures of the day have been posted from Lisa Hickey, click on the Photos tab to see all the albums.

MANY THANKS TO ALL OUR PARTICIPANTS AND HELPERS!

THANK YOU

7/22/2013 The first batch of photos have been posted from Bob White, Tom Stolze and Maureen Absolon, click HERE or on the filmstrip below to view all of them. Full report on the day will be posted soon.

2013 pictures click here

THE 2013 BLESSING OF THE FLEET WAS HELD SATURDAY, JULY 20TH. PICTURES AND MORE INFO WILL BE POSTED SOON.

7/20/2013 Nice article in the Alton Telegraph this morning about the Blessing of the Fleet. http://www.thetelegraph.com/news/local/article_f0c27f74-f0ba-11e2-8d08-001a4bcf6878.html

Preparations are well under way in Portage des Sioux. Palisades Yacht Club and My River Home Marina / Longshot Saloon will be open!

Click HERE or on the filmstrip below for some pictures of both places.

click here for more pictures

 

7/17/2013 Some members of the Blessing of the Fleet committee were on KSDK Channel 5 Show Me St. Louis program Wednesday July 17th promoting the upcoming Blessing on Saturday, July 20th 2013. Maureen's grandbaby Camden was definitely the scene stealer!

 

7/17/2013 Blessing of the Fleet update:
Talked to Dave Wann, Events Coordinator for the Mississippi Valley Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, sounds like they will not only have a good group of antique runabouts but several antique cruisers also!

Don't have a boat and want to be in the Blessing of the Fleet Boat Parade? Here's a solution!

Hakuna Matata

Grafton Harbor’s new tour boat Hakuna Matata will be joining the 2013 Blessing of the Fleet. The cost of the Blessing Tour will be $40.00 per person. This will include pulled pork sandwiches, chips and dip and dessert. We will have a cash bar and tons of fun if anyone would like to join us! Call them for reservations at 618-786-7678.

Sounds like KSDK Channel 5 will be there videoing the Parade again this year. Watch their newscast Saturday or do like we are doing and set your DVRs to record it! So when you pass the Judges stand be sure and ham it up! Lots of smiling and waving!

7/15/2013 Click HERE to read the article in the Alton Daily News about this year's Blessing along with audio clip from WBGZ radio.

Loan SharkFree rum and wine tasting for the Blessing of the Fleet Saturday July 20th from 12-2pm at Palisades YachtClub! Theme: Sharks even Loan Sharks!

Some members of the Blessing of the Fleet along with RiverBill and the RiverBills Girls will be on Show Me St. Louis KSDK channel 5 on Wednesday, July 17th starting at 12:30 PM. Watch for us all waving and smiling! Here's a link to the show's webpage: http://www.ksdk.com/life/programming/local/showme/default.aspx

 

Pictures and Video of the Benefit have been posted. Click on a filmstrip below to see the pictures.

Pictures by Lisa Hickey:

some pictures from Lisa Hickey

Pictures by Maureen Absolon:

click here to see all the pictures

Here's a one minute video of the "Rubber Duck Plunge"

 

Benefit for The Blessing of the Fleet Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 from about 2 pm to 6 pm at Grafton Harbor, Grafton Illinois

Benefit for the Blessing of the Fleet raffle rules:
The "Rubber Duck Plunge" explained. well, sort of, anyway, here goes. When you buy a chance in the Rubber Duck Plunge you will be given a wristband. Out of all the rubber ducks a number of them equal to the number of prizes will be given a number ranking them as 1 thru whatever (the ducks already have numbers). The total number of rubber ducks thrown into the pool will equal the number of chances taken. You can buy as many chances as you want at $10 per chance and will be given a wrist band for each one. When the time comes everyone will be asked to get out of the pool. At that time all of the rubber ducks will be thrown in and then the signal will be given for everyone with a wrist band, or their designated "Duck Plucker" will jump into the pool and grab a duck for each entry they have. Once all the ducks have been claimed the winning numbers will be called and the winners can come up and claim their prize. Simple enough right? Organized chaos? Right again! Much more fun than looking at numbers on a paper ticket (we hope).

RiverBills webheader 6-18-2013

Many Thanks to our good friend Bill Kelley for plugging the Blessing of the Fleet and the Benefit for the Blessing of the Fleet this Saturday at Grafton Harbor. The RiverBills girls will be there selling raffle tickets to help keep this 56 year tradition going. For more information go to http://www.blessingofthefleetstl.com/ or www.riverbills.com
Looks like it's going to be a warm weekend so the pool will be a popular place while the "D Dock DJs, the official DJs of RiverBills.com" keep the tunes going. Craig Tredway and Scotty will be playing all your favorites. See myself or Maureen Cooper Absolon to purchase the official Blessing of the Fleet T-Shirts.

Benefit update: Just got off the phone with Adrienne from the GraftonBig Kahuna with some information about specials the weekend of the Benefit for the Blessing of the Fleet. One BIG change is that they will be having a Breakfast Buffet Saturday and Sunday morning from 9 to 11. Saturday afternoon they will have a Bar-B-Que special poolside. She will be sending me more information soon and I will post it here. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up, especially about the Breakfast Buffet. Gonna be a warm one so the pool will surely be a popular place that weekend!

Click here to see more of the items donated

The following items have been donated so far and will be part of the raffles going on that day.  Grafton Harbor is also putting together items for the “Rubber Duck Plunge” raffle from various businesses in their area.  We will have music poolside by the “D Dock DJs, the Official DJs of www.RiverBills.com”.  The RiverBills Girls will be there from 2 to 6 selling the raffle tickets that afternoon.  Blessing of the Fleet T-Shirts will also be available for purchase.
Current list of items donated:

Click HERE or on the 2013 Press Release below to download / save a copy in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format suitable for printing.

Blessing_press_release_2013

Blessing of the Fleet T-Shirts

Crystal Photography has photos of all the boats available for purchase online. Click HERE to view the album and ordering information.

2012 Winners pictures are under the Winners tab.

After the Blessing of the Fleet awards were given it was brought to our attention that one of the boats may have been misclassified as the side profile appeared to be one type of vessel but when the pictures were looked at it should have been in a different category. The other boat in that category will be recognized with an award and is congratulated on their decorating effort. We will try to avoid this in the future even if it means having to readjust the categories. The Blessing of the Fleet committee Thanks all participants and is already looking forward to next year.
Darryll Weil, President, Blessing of the Fleet

Congratulations to A. J. and Toni Grapenthin and the crew of "Good Problems"!
Great Job decorating guys. Photos have been added to the Winners page.

The first batch of photos from the 2012 Blessing of the Fleet have been posted, click HERE or on the filmstrip below.

Click here to see all the pictures from Maureen

To see a 30 second time lapse video of the parade from the webcam go to www.riverwebcams.com

A great big THANK YOU to everyone involved in the Blessing of the Fleet!

Starting with all the Committee members Charles Aten, Marilyn Aten, Maureen Absolon, Mike Baisch, Alan Deutschmann, Craig Tredway, John Bloch, Amy Lewis, Scott Lewis, Andy Dalwitz, Christie, Rick Flier, Bill Kelley, Dave Stolze Printing, Safety Boat personnel Caryl Kastendieck, Karlan Kastendieck, Jim Marr, Follow Me boat Captains Randy Bicknese (on “The Scoundrel” loaned for the day by Dutch Hauhe), Dan Bloch, Past President Tim Tighe, Grafton Harbor’s Joe DeSherlia and crew, The TowBoatUS guys Jeff and Dave, Buoy Boy Scott Hickey, Judge Anne Zerr, Orchard Farm Fire District crew, Rivers Pointe Fire District crew, Father Robert Banken, Marvin Meyer, Tom Stolze and all the crews at Palisades and LongShots, Rich and Toni Luttrell of The Boathouse and crew for hosting our 1st ever Benefit.

Thanks to everyone mentioned above my first year as President went wonderfully! I was impressed the way everyone stepped in and simply took care of things. The weekend setup began with Scotty delivering and inflating the runway buoys Friday evening then early Saturday morning Grafton Harbor’s crew set the buoys in the “2nd Cut” while Orchard Farm Fire District set the runway at Portage. Rivers Pointe Fire District’s crew was on the water all day also helping reset buoys and being ready for anything along with Orchard Farms crew. Rick Flier hosted Pat Reid the photographer while Caryl and Karlan set up at the course end. Jim Marr alternated between monitoring the course entry and ferrying people as needed. All of this was done with the utmost professionalism by all. I have gotten many compliments on how well organized the event was and owe it all to the terrific volunteers.

Our Judges, Bill, Anne and Alan, took on the difficult job of picking the winners while enduring the balmy weather on the deck where Charles relayed potential winners to Craig in the “Pick Out Boat” a waverunner loaned to us for the day by Lauren Kastendieck.

We will be posting pictures and such as they become available on the Blessing of the Fleet website, www.blessingofthefleetstl.com. I know Tom Stolze got lots of good ones from the shore side while Pat Reid did his usual great work from the water this year aboard Rick’s boat.

Towards Fall we will all get together for a little food, beverage, critique of this year and pre planning for next year. I don’t know about the rest of you but I need a couple of months to recuperate.

Thank You all again,

Darryll Weil, President, Blessing of the Fleet, Inc.

P.S. T-Shirt sales went well, Grafton Harbor, LongShots / My River Home and Palisades still have them for sale. I will be working out some sort of online ordering on the website soon.

 

LATEST NEWS:

STLToday.com had a nice article about the Blessing in Sundays paper. Here's a link to it:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/blessing-of-the-fleet-today-features-mark-twain-theme/article_e2e6bb16-d344-11e1-82d6-001a4bcf6878.html

Channel 5 was on site during the Blessing and had video and a story on the evening news Saturday.

Heartland Boating Magazine posted a reminder about the Blessing of the Fleet on their Facebook page.  We had sent them the event information a few months ago and it has been running in the magazine since.  Here's a direct link to their facebook page so you can "Share" the posting on your pages.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/HeartLand-Boating-Magazine/100608114445

There are many great places to view each section of the parade. Palisades Yacht Club and Longshots Saloon / My River Home Marina in Portage des Sioux immediately upstream from the Shrine, The Boathouse Food & Deck at North Shore Marina, Alton Marina and the Alton Riverfront park, Grafton Harbor, the Grafton Riverfront park, the Loading Dock in Grafton to name a few. Several of these locations will have entertainment, food and drink specials during and after the parade. Here's an incomplete list:

Palisades Yacht Club, 1670 Riverview Drive, Portage des Sioux, MO 63373
Immediately following the Blessing is Music by County Line with BBQ and drink specials.

Longshot Saloon / My River Home Marina, 1545 Riverview Drive, Portage des Sioux, MO 63373
Outdoor bar and tent by their courtesy docks, Rogers and Nienhaus that evening at 8 PM.

The Boathouse Food & Deck, 601 North Shore Drive, St. Charles, MO 63301
Live broadcast in the morning by Kelly Lamm of Sports Radio 1380 AM / Westplex Radio 100.7 FM from 9 am to 11 am promoting the Blessing and the Boathouse's large decks to view the parade. That evening an after party with The Guilty Pleasures Band.

Grafton Harbor, 215 West Water Street, Grafton, Illinois 62037

Alton Marina, 1 Henry Street, Alton, Illinois 62002

The Loading Dock Bar & Grill, 400 Front Street, Grafton, Illinois 62037

The Alton Telegraph newspaper has a very nice article about the Blessing of the Fleet in today's (7/13/2012) edition.  Here's a direct link to it:

http://www.thetelegraph.com/articles/spectators-72974-blessing-year.html

Click HERE to read the article in the Alton Telegraph about the 2011 Blessing of the Fleet!

 

BLESSING OF THE FLEET AND PARADE OF BOATS

DATE: SATURDAY, JULY 19th, 2014

THEME: "NOAH'S ARK"

PARADE STARTING POINTS:

1:00 PM Yacht Club of St. Louis lead by Captain Dutch Hauhe in the cruiser "Scoundrel"

1:00 PM Alton Marina lead by Captain John Bloch in the cruiser "Audy B II"

Antique and Classic Boat Society, Mississippi Valley chapter will stage downstream the shrine.

2:15 PM Blessing Commences at Shrine of Our Lady of the Rivers

CELEBRANT:

Reverend Robert L. Banken - St. Francis of Assisi Parish

JUDGES:

Barbara Rhoades - Division Commander Div. 3 U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
Bill Tullock - Commodore of Con Trios Yacht Club
Bill Kelley - Webmaster of www.RiverBills.com

AWARDS: Presentation at My River Home Marina immediately after the Parade

Decorate YOUR BOAT and JOIN US!

VIEWING THE PARADE FROM LAND

Non boating spectators are invited to watch from the Shrine, Palisades Yacht Club and neighboring LongShot Saloon / My River Home Marina where courtesy boat docks are available. Palisades Yacht Club and Longshot Saloon will both have live entertainment, food and drink available. They are within walking distance of each other so you can enjoy a full day of fun on the river. Other locations to watch the parade pass by are The Boathouse Food & Deck. Duck Club Yacht Club, Grafton Harbor, Alton Marina

 

 

PARADE ROUTE CHANGES:

The "Upper Pool" Parade of Boats lead by Captain Dutch Hauhe in the "Follow Me" boat "Scoundrel" will begin at 1 PM in front of Yacht Club of St. Louis heading downstream passing by Grafton IL by using the "2nd cut" below Mason Island. Any boaters that are not comfortable to go thru there are welcome to continue downstream to the Confluence Buoy area and rejoin the parade.

The "Lower Pool" Parade of Boats heading upstream will be lead by Captain John Bloch in the "Follow Me" boat "Audy B II" will begin at 1 PM in front of Alton Marina by the Alton Bridge heading upstream.

Both of these parades will merge just below the Statue and will follow the Antique and Classic Boat Society, Mississippi Valley chapter group past the Shrine for the Blessing at 2:15 PM.

As always, boaters are invited to join the parades anywhere along
the routes and pass the Shrine for a Blessing with the others.

2012 Parade Route

 

 

Live video is only streaming the day of the parade.

 

2013 Awards

Awards by the Blessing of the Fleet, Inc. in five (5) categories and three (3) additional:

Best Decorated Cruiser

Best Decorated Houseboat

Best Decorated Pontoon Boat

Best Decorated Runabout

Best Decorated Sail Boat

Three additional "Judges Choice" awards will also be presented this year.

Awards based on Best Decorated to the year's selected theme as judged by this year's panel of Judges;

 

Special Prize Sponsors

 

From the St. Charles area take Highway 94 North about 12.5 miles north of Interstate 370 to Highway J.

From North St. Louis County and Illinois take Highway 94 about 9 miles West from Highway 67 to Highway J.

For GPS directions use the address: 1670 Riverview Drive, Portage des Sioux, MO 63373

Portage des Sioux MO

BELOW IS THE 2013 BENEFIT INFORMATION. THE 2014 BENEFIT WILL BE HELD AT ALTON MARINA ON SATURDAY JUNE 14TH, 2014. MORE INFO TO COME.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ITEMS DONATED SO FAR, MORE ARE COMING IN SO CHECK BACK AGAIN.

Benefit collage

Benefit for the Blessing of the Fleet will be Saturday, June 22nd , 2013

at Grafton Harbor in Grafton IL.

This event is held to raise the funds to keep the Blessing of the Fleet going from year to year.
Saturday afternoon from about 2 to 6 there will be a Pool Party, music poolside by the “D Dock DJs the official DJs of www.RiverBills.com”, raffle prizes, t-shirt sales, food and drink specials and the “RUBBER DUCK PLUNGE” raffle (it involves the pool).

The "RiverBills" girls from www.riverbills.com will be there selling raffle tickets!

Many of our fellow boaters are already planning on making this a weekend boating getaway by arriving at Grafton Harbor on Friday to enjoy the many amenities at the marina and all of the shops, restaurants and bars within walking distance not to mention the beautiful floating pool next to the Big Kahuna restaurant and bar.
Contact Grafton Harbor at 618-786-7678 for slip reservations.

We welcome everyone, boaters and non boaters, to come out for what will surely be a fun way to help us continue this great river tradition.  There may even be Shark themed boats there.

Picture Galleries from previous years, all albums will open in a new window.

Hand made model of the Blessing of the Fleet by Glenn Folkerts

Click here to see all the pictures

2013 Blessing of the Fleet photos by Sherry Lorance

2013 Blessing of the Fleet photos by Bob White

2013 Blessing of the Fleet photos by Lisa Hickey

2013 Blessing of the Fleet photos by Bob White, Tom Stolze and Maureen

2013 Benefit photos by Lisa Hickey

2013 Benefit photos by Maureen and video by Mary Beth

2012 Blessing of the Fleet photos by Maureen

2012 Benefit for the Blessing of the Fleet at The Boathouse

2011 Blessing of the Fleet aerial pictures courtesy of Mike and Sherri Stanczak

2011 Blessing of the Fleet pictures on Lisa Hickey's facebook page
you need to be a member of facebook and logged on to view Lisa's album

2011 Blessing of the Fleet photos by Tom Stolze.
Tom also broadcast the parade live on the internet via his website http://ofallonweather.org/

2011 Pictures by Maureen aboard the Follow Me boat "Scoundrel"

2010 Pictures by Lisa Hickey aboard the "Texas Lady"

2010 Pictures by Sharon from the Follow Me boat "Scoundrel"

2010 pictures by Pat Reid of Crystal Photography

"Gypsy Rose" Pirate Ship

Historical Photos Courtesy of Rick Estes

2008 photos courtesy of Darryll Weil

2007 photos courtesy of Mike and Sherri Stanczak

2007 photos courtesy of Lynn Tighe

2007 photos courtesy of Darryll and Maureen

2006 photos courtesy of Tim and Lynn Tighe

2005 photos courtesy of Tim and Lynn Tighe

2004 photos courtesy of Darryll Weil

2004 photos courtesy of Tim and Lynn Tighe

2003 photos courtesy of Tim and Lynn Tighe

Thank You to the Supporters of The Blessing of the Fleet

"Lil Bubba T"

"Nina J"

Liberty Harbor in Portage des Sioux

"Linky's Cats"

"VinTINage"

Kevin Kenny

Two Rivers Marina

Hessler's Pub & Grill

Dr. Pepper / Snapple

JB Fence LLC

Grand Slam Sports Bar & Grill

Scoundrel Enterprises / Captain Dutch Hauhe

Palisades Yacht Club

LongShot Saloon / My River Home Marina

Bloch Marine Service / TowBoatUS

Grafton Harbor

Alton Marina

Raging Rivers

Book N Barber

Fin Inn

Loading Dock

The Whole Scoop

Crystal Photography

Bernie Patrico

Kelly Gamblin

Brian & Trish Hamm

Jill Kennedy

Greg & Peg Colletta

Tiffany & Kyle Marsh

Kevin Frieman

Nick Cauupps

Brad Peachee

Ruthie Durmeier

Katy Estes

John & Linda Strum

Mark and Pam Beck

"Shotz Ship"

"We-Z Gone Wild"

"River Pig"

Adam Evers

 

"Ching"

"Wet Addiction"

"Anita Cocktail"

Nora Moore

"Y2Katy"

Northwest Tire and Auto / Croft Trailer

Polestar Boating Center and Marina

Heartland Boating Magazine

Con Trios Yacht Club

www.RiverBills.com

The Boathouse Food & Deck

www.RiverWebCams.com

Printing furnished by Stolze Printing Company, Inc., Bridgeton, MO.

Live Video of the Parade courtesy of Tom Stolze of OfallonWeather.org

Grafton City Hall

John's Boat Harbor

Iron Decor N More

Tara Point

Sundowners

Ed Hodapp

Carl Tiemann

Rick Haines

Shelly Kennedy

Aron Lappe

Valerie Djordjovich

Dusan Djordjovich

John Hartmann

Don Acord

Debbie Moore

Lynn Sansone

Tim Tighe

Scott and Lisa Hickey

"Paradise"

"Bull Ship"

ACBS (Antique and Classic Boat Society)

Ed Koch

"Xpensive Therapy"

CTYC Fleet Captain Bill Tullock

"Storm Treasure"

 

 

HISTORY OF THE BLESSING OF THE FLEET, INC. We are proud to announce that The Blessing of the Fleet, Inc., an organization whose purpose is to promote safe boating, will be celebrating their 57TH Anniversary on Saturday, July 19, 2014.

The Blessing of the Fleet, Inc. is responsible for organizing an annual event on the river rich in tradition, The Blessing of the Fleet and Parade of Boats. This event is held on a mid-summer afternoon in July on the Mississippi River between Mel Price Lock and Dam in Alton, Illinois and the Winfield Lock and Dam, Missouri.

The Shrine of Our Lady of the Rivers in Portage des Sioux is the actual site of the ceremony and gets her name from the fact that three major rivers - the Illinois, the Missouri and the Mississippi - all meet within a few miles of the statue. The first pleasure Boat Blessing materialized as a result of a flood that threatened Portage des Sioux in the early 1950’s. The towns’ parish, headed by Rev. Edward Schlattmann, prayed together to the Virgin Mary for the town of Portage des Sioux to be spared from the perils of the raising waters. They together coined a name for the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Rivers. As history records, the flooding waters parted and traveled just above and below the river town without entering it. To pay tribute to their Lady, the town people and parishioners, Schlattmann and local businessmen and local boatmen formulated plans for the first religious fiberglass statue.

Eventually the 25’ Statue of Our Lady of the Rivers and a 25’ Base were erected at the site of Portage des Sioux. It remains today as the fourth tallest statue of Mary in the world. Over the years it has served as a navigation aid for the area and the podium from which the annual Blessing of the Fleet takes place. As each vessel approaches the base of the Shrine and slows to idle speed a blessing is bestowed as they pass imploring heaven to protect and bless them in these waters. This tradition has proven to be the highlight of the areas boating season and each year attracts hundreds of participating decorated pleasure craft, as well as, spectators to the area. Together they display an exquisitely executed celebration of the season, exhibiting a long inspired passion for boating and relating knowledge of history.

Participants compete for awards in specific categories by decorating to a designated theme for each year and are invited to gather following the parade and blessing for a fun and festive awards ceremony held at a local area marina.

The Blessing of the Fleet works in conjunction with area marinas, harbors, various related area businesses, as well as civic and local organizations and has the cooperation of the City of St. Louis Fire Department-Marine Division, The City of St. Charles, Mo., U.S. Coast Guard and U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the U.S. Power Squadron, Missouri Water Patrol, and Our Lady of the Rivers Shrine Committee of Portage des Sioux, Mo.

To all past and present officers and committee members of the Blessing of the Fleet, Inc. who have dedicated their time and talents over the past fifty plus years to preserve and maintain this tradition, we are honored to congratulate you on achieving this 55th Anniversary. To generations yet unborn, The Shrine and this Annual Tradition will together serve as a symbol of our generations appreciation of the nautical sensibility and natural beauty of this area where three rivers meet near the site of the Statue of Our Lady of the Rivers, Portage des Sioux.

Congratulations Blessing of the Fleet, Inc. on these Accomplishments

Year
Theme
1982
25th Anniversary of the Blessing of the Fleet
1983
1984
Something Golden (To Celebrate Father Schlattmann's Golden Jubilee as a Priest)
1985
Mark Twain's 150th Anniversary Celebration
1986
Miss Liberty (In honor of the torch re-lighting ceremony after the two year renovation)
1987
The Founding of Portage des Sioux (Founded in 1799)
1988
Use Your Imagination
1989
Around the World (The Country of your choice)
1990
Holiday Celebration
1991
Circus
1992
500 Years of History (Celebrating Columbus' Discovery)
1993
Canceled due to flooding
1994
Your Favorite Sport
1995
Let's Just Decorate
1996
Our Lady of the River Shrine - 40 Years on the Mississippi
1997
Parade of Nations
1998
Dixieland
1999
Red, White and Blue for Portage des Sioux
2000
Highlights of the 20th Century
2001
Your Favorite Nursery Rhymes
2002
God Bless America
2003
Music and All That Jazz
2004
Lewis and Clark
2005
You Decorate and We'll Judge
2006
Vacation Fun under the St. Louis Sun
2007
Toast Our Golden Anniversary (50th annual parade)
2008
Margaritaville
2009
Luau
2010
Pirates
2011
Mermaids
2012
Mark Twain
2013
Sharks

2013 Winners
Click on a picture to see a larger version

Cruiser

"The Shark"
Cruiser Crew

"The Shark"
Houseboat

"Sea Hag"
 
Pontoon Boat

"Attack of the Tooner Sharks"
Pontoon Crew

"Attack of the Tooner Sharks"
Runabout
Runabout from Port Charles
 
Sailboat

"Tranquility Base"
 
Judges Choice

"Oh Yeah"
 

Judges Choice

"Ora Lea"

 
Judges Choice

"Sound of Pleasure"
Judges Choice Crew

"Sound of Pleasure"
Con Trios Yacht Club Member

"The Shark"
Con Trios Yacht Club Member Crew

"The Shark"

 

2012 Winners
Click on a picture to see a larger version.

Storm Treasure
Cruiser - "Storm Treasure"
crew
Captain Royce LaMarr & crew
runabout
Runabout - "The Shark"

crew
Captain Greg Colletta & crew

houseboat
Houseboat - "Sea Hag"

Captain Jay Adams & crew (photo not available)
Pontoon
Pontoon
crew
Captain Brian Kickline
Sailboat
Sailboat - "Saint Somewhere"
crew
Captain Tyler Mitchell & crew

After the Blessing of the Fleet awards were given it was brought to our attention that one of the boats may have been misclassified as the side profile appeared to be one type of vessel but when the pictures were looked at it should have been in a different category. The other boat in that category will be recognized with an award and is congratulated on their decorating effort. We will try to avoid this in the future even if it means having to readjust the categories. The Blessing of the Fleet committee Thanks all participants and is already looking forward to next year.

Congratulations to A. J. and Toni Grapenthin and the crew of "Good Problems"!
Great Job decorating guys.


Runabout - "Good Problems"

Captain A. J. Grapenthin & crew

 

2011 Winners
Click on a picture to see a larger version.

Storm Treasure
Storm Treasure
Cruiser Category
Storm Treasure
Sandy M  
Houseboat Category
Sandy M
Ginger Bell  
Pontoon Category
Ginger Bell
The Shark The Shark
Runabout Category
The Shark
Gypsy Rose II  
Sailboat Category
Gypsy Rose II
Storm Treasure Storm Treasure crew
Con Trios Yacht Club
Storm Treasure

 

2010 Winners
Click on a picture to see a larger version.
Thanks to Pat Reid of Crystal Photography for the pictures.
To see all the pictures Pat took click HERE.

Cruiser cruiser
Cruiser category Winner
houseboat houseboat
Houseboat category Winner and Best In Show Winner
pontoon pontoon
Pontoon category Winner
runabout runabout
Runabout category Winner
sailboat sailboat
Sailboat category Winner
con trios winner crew
Con Trios Yacht Club Winner

 

2009 Winners:

Theme: "Luau"

Best Decorated Cruiser: "Storm Treasure" Royce and Gayle LaMarr

Best Decorated Houseboat: "Aquatraz" Dave and Karen Wilmouth

Best Decorated Sailboat: "Insatiable" Harry Stoner

Best Decorated Pontoon: "June" June Polster

Best Decorated Runabout: "Summertime" John Spraul

Best Decoarated Upstream Boat: "Aquatraz" Dave and Karen Wilmouth

2008 Winners:

Theme: "Margaritaville"

The Best Decorated Cruiser award was "Night-N-Gale"

The Best Decorated Houseboat was "Aquatraz"

The Best Decorated Sailboat was the "Kontaloa"

Best Decorated Pontoon Boat was "Misbehavior"

The Best Decorated Runabout had no name

Best Decorated Con Trios Yacht Club member boat was "Sound of Pleasure"

2007 Winners: 

Theme:  Toast Our Golden Anniversary!

Acrylic Commemorative Trophies Provided by Blessing of the Fleet, Inc.

 FIVE CATEGORIES AWARDED FOR BEST DECORATED TO THE THEME

CRUISER CATEGORY: Edward and Rosemary Bialecke, “GRIFFIN”

  HOUSEBOAT CATEGORY: Alan Deutschmann, “SOUND OF PLEASURE”

   RUNABOUT CATEGORY: Glen and Darlene Hartman, “DARLENE”

  SAILBOAT CATEGORY: Don and Mary Ellen Morrison, “RAGTIME”

  PONTOON/DECKBOAT: Alan Bull, “ODYSSEY”

 AWARDS BASED ON BEST DECORATED TO THE YEAR’S SELECTED THEME
AS JUDGED BY THIS YEARS PANEL OF BLESSING OF THE FEET JUDGES.

  THE GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION JUDGES:
James A. Svoboda, Past Commodore, Con Trios Yacht Club
Mark D. Warner, Mayor, Portage Des Sioux, MO
Harry T. Bussmann, III, Our Lady of the Rivers Shrine Committee

 THREE CASH AWARD PRIZES
DONATED BY “SHOW ME THE MISSISSIPPI”

 BEST OVERALL ENTRY IN SHOW WINNER – Check in the Amount of $500.00

 FIRST PLACE PRESENTED TO:  Alan Deutschmann, “Sound of Pleasure”

 SECOND PLACE – CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF $300.00

 PRESENTED TO: Tom and Mary Lou Smith, “FarNeite II”

THIRD PLACE – CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF $ 200.00

 PRESENTED TO:  Owners Unknown, “Playen II”

 Judges for Show Me the Mississippi – Cash Awards – Were Linda Sanchez, President of Show Me the Mississippi and Several Members Selected from this years “Show Me”, Membership.

  SPECIAL CORPORATE SPONSORED AWARDS
 (These Awards were Judged by and Sponsored by Each Respective Company Owner and or their Representative.)

SEA RAY WINNER – Best Decorated Sea Ray
 Sponsored By:  MarineMax, St Charles, MO

 Winners:  Dee Berkley, “Some Day Came”, 26’ Sea Ray Sundancer

 GIBSON HOUSEBOAT WINNER – Best Decorated Gibson Houseboat 
Sponsored by Wahoo Sales and Service, St. Charles, MO 

Winners:  Tom and Nancy Meyers, “Sparky”

 REGAL – Best Decorated Regal 
Sponsored by Dan’s Boats, St. Peters, MO 

Winners:  Jason and Louise Haldiman, "We-Z-Goin’ Wild”

  CON TRIOS YACHT CLUB WINNER

Best Decorated CTYC Member Entry in Parade :  Alan Deutschmann, “Sound of Pleasure”

Board Meeting April 2013

2013 Board of Directors

Darryll Weil

Mike Baisch

Alan Deutschmann

Charles Aten

Marilyn Aten

Craig Tredway

John Bloch

Amy Lewis

Scott Lewis

Andy Dalwitz

Rick Flier

Obituaries

Fred Wenzelburger
Fred Wenzelburger

Posted 5/21/2013

Fred Wenzelburger passed away on Sunday, May 19th.  Fred was President of The Blessing of the Fleet, Inc. for 25 years.  Our prayers and condolences go out to Judy and their family at this time.

Fred's obituary from www.stltoday.com:
Wenzelburger, J. Fred, Jr. Fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church on Sunday, May 19, 2013. Loving husband of Judy Wenzelburger (nee Parrott); dear father of Christine D. Ernst, Diane L. (John) Fleming and Cynthia L. (Todd - late) Blake. Grandfather of 8, great-grandfather of 9. Loving brother of Dorothy (Norman) Reiter and Judy Smiddy. Preceded in death by William (Del-Ann - survives) Wenzelburger. Dear brother-in-law, uncle, cousin and friend to many. Fred owned and operated Fred's South County Auto Repair for more than 30 years, was president of Blessing of the Fleet, Inc. for 25 years, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for more than 38 years, served as flotilla commander of 3-15 for many years, an avid boater, a member of the Masons. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name to The American Cancer Society or The American Stroke Association , would be appreciated Services: Funeral from John L. Ziegenhein & Sons South County Chapel, 4830 Lemay Ferry Rd., Thursday, 10:30 am. Interment: Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery with Full Military Honors. VISITATION: Wednesday, 4-8 pm.

Jeanette Eberlin

Posted 5/15/2012

Jeanette Eberlin who was very active for many years with the Blessing of the Fleet passed away this week. She was the media go to gal for newspapers, radio and got the event on TV many times. She may have been one of the original members.

Here is her obituary from the Post Dispatch.

Jeanette M. Eberlin
(nee Roux), Monday, May 14, 2012. Fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church.
Beloved wife of the late James A. Eberlin Sr.; dear mother and mother-in-law of Rita (Greg) English, James A. (Randie) Eberlin Jr., Conrad Hoormann, Glenn Hoormann and Jean (Greg) Vedvig; dear grandmother of Elizabeth, David, Erika, Frankie, Mackenzie, Tyler, Kevin, Tina, Krista, Crissy, Tiffany, Alexis, Jessica and Jennifer. dear great grandmother, great great grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend. Special thanks to her caregivers, Cathy, Pat and Deb.

Jeanette proudly served the City and People of Hazelwood as Ward 6 Councilwoman for 28 years. She also performed community service roles as Mayor Pro Tem, Planning and Zoning Commission and she was instrumental in bringing Mills Mall to Hazelwood. She spoke of her fellow City of Hazelwood employees and residents as the finest in the entire State of Missouri. The world loses a great community servant, devout Catholic, journalist, editor, speech writer, friend and mother, who will be greatly missed by all.

Services: Funeral from HUTCHENS Mortuary, 675 Graham Rd., Florissant 9:15 AM, Friday, May 18 to St. Ferdinand Catholic Church for 10 AM Mass. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Visitation 4-8 PM, Thursday, May 17 at Hutchens Mortuary.
Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on May 16, 2012

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June 14th, 2011

Denny Galkowski

Denny Galkowski

Blessing of the Fleet Board Member and Con Trios Past Commodore (2009) Denny Galkowski passed away following complications from surgery after he had suffered a stroke. Denny was my mentor and Commodore my year as Fleet Captain and I could not have done it without his help and input. He was a very strong supporter of both the Con Trios Yacht Club and the Blessing of the Fleet, having served as a Board Member on both organizations. Denny was a Paramedic with the St. Charles County Ambulance District. He was an accomplished boater along with his lovely wife Pat in the cruiser "2XS" out of Polestar Marina. Denny will be sorely missed by all of us. Our Condolences, Prayers and Love go out to Pat and their family at this sad time.

______________________________________________________________________________

Posted October 28th, 2007

Lynn A. Tighe

Tim and Lynn Tighe

Lynn Tighe, beloved wife of Commodore Tim Tighe has died at her home after a brave and private battle with pancreatic cancer. Lynn was an avid and accomplished boater that loved being on the rivers with friends and family aboard her yacht " Patience ". She was an active and strong supporter of CTYC and played a major role with Tim as Fleet Captain and this year as Commodore.
Lynn was also a very active officer of the Blessing Of The Fleet, Inc. and help guide that organization to it's 50th anniversary celebration this year.
Lynn was a friend to many, always warm, welcoming and fun loving.
Lynn A. Tighe, the First Lady of Con Trios Yacht Club will be missed.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Tim and the Tighe family. Arrangements are as follows:

A memorial service will be held Thursday, November 1, 2007 at Sunset Hill Funeral Home located at 50 Fountain Drive at Route 157, Glenn Carbon Il. 62034 ( 618-656-3220 ). The family will begin receiving friends at 4:00 PM. A memorial service will be held at 7:00 PM. A memorial mass will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, November 2, 2007 at St. Boniface Catholic Church, 325 East Vandalia, Edwardsville, Il. 62025.( 618-656-6420 ). The family request that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Lynn A. Tighe Gardens at SIU-E, c/o The SIU-E Foundation, Campus Box 1082, Edwardsville, Il. 62026.

Click here to read Lynn's obituary in the Edwardsville Intelligencer newspaper

Click here to read the story in the Alton Telegraph newspaper

Thanks to Bill Kelley from www.riverbills.com for the link

______________________________________________________________________

Posted October 22nd, 2007

David A. Simon

Dave Simon

Suddenly while boating on the river on Sunday, October 21, 2007. Dave was loved and cherished by family, friends and pets. He also loved boating and was active in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.  Services: Visitation will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2007 at SHEPARD Funeral Chapel, 9255 Natural Bridge at I-170 from 9:30 until time of service at 11:30 a.m. Interment Memorial Park Cemetery. Family request Memorial Contributions to Humane Society, 1201 Macklind Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110 or Blessing of the Fleet, 853 Brentford Drive, St. Louis, MO 63125.

Photo and information from http://www.riverbills.com/ and http://www.legacy.com/stltoday/DeathNotices.asp?Page=Lifestory&PersonId=96651724

Contact Information

Darryll Weil, President, Blessing of the Fleet Inc.

Telephone: 314-303-2819

Email: captainweil@sbcglobal.net

 

 

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