Paducah Maritime Day Ceremony Will Honor Chad Pregracke, Tim Cahill

The Propeller Club of Paducah will honor Chad Pregracke as maritime person of the year and Tim Cahill as port person of the year during its annual Maritime Day ceremony May 21.

A social time with coffee, juice and pastries will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Seamen’s Church Institute’s Center for Marine Education, 129 South Water Street, with the hourlong ceremony to follow at 10 a.m.

The event will also include the club’s check presentation to the Community Foundation of West Kentucky for tornado relief efforts, presentation of scholarships to two students and, in conjunction with the Coast Guard, a wreath-laying on the Ohio River memorializing merchant mariners who have lost their lives.

Pregracke is the founder of Living Lands & Waters, a non-profit environmental association established in 1998 that has become a successful river cleanup organization serving hundreds of miles of rivers. Most recently, Living Lands & Waters has assisted with disaster relief efforts on Kentucky Lake after a destructive, long-track tornado hit December 10, destroying homes and businesses and strewing debris and trees on the shoreline and in the water.

Sign up for Waterway Journal's weekly newsletter.Our weekly newsletter delivers the latest inland marine news straight to your inbox including breaking news, our exclusive columns and much more.

Cahill serves as the executive director of the Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority. The port’s capabilities include handling containerized, break-bulk and bulk cargoes as well as storage and warehouse facilities. It is also currently serving as the location where construction of the steel superstructure for the new Cumberland River bridge at Smithland is taking place.

Tornado Relief Donation

The club will present a $17,500 donation to the Community Foundation of West Kentucky for tornado relief. The check will be presented to Tony Watkins, executive director of the foundation. The donation includes funds received by individuals and other other propeller club ports from around the nation.

Additionally, the club is continuing its scholarship program, funded through hole sponsorships at its annual golf outing. This year the $1,500 scholarships will be presented to Madeline Yates of McCracken County High School and Sidney Hubbard of Livingston Central High School.

The final segment of the ceremony will be the merchant mariner memorial. Local personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard will lay a memorial wreath on the Ohio River, followed by the playing of “Taps.” The wreath remembers merchant mariners who lost their lives in service to the country and to the marine industry.

The Propeller Club was chartered on May 6, 1946, to support and promote the maritime industry and its allied industries across all ports and waterways of the United States. The Paducah club has 151 members representing 78 associated businesses.