NYC Caribbean Relief Fund Gives $15,000 to Marine Vocational Program
CHARLOTTE AMALIE — At least a dozen St. Thomas student members of the not-for-profit Marine Vocational Program (MVP) can now continue and advance their marine education thanks to a donation of $15,000 from the NYC Eastern Caribbean Relief Fund Inc., founded and funded by Island Capital Group LLC. and Island Global Yachting Ltd. (IGY).
“This generous donation will enable us to provide the program’s students with their basic PADI dive certification, opening their eyes and minds to their underwater surroundings,” said Jimmy Loveland, MVP director and long-time professional sports-fishing captain who moved to the island in 1964.
A bit of serendipity led to this valuable and life changing donation. Loveland’s son, Marc, had the recent pleasure of sitting next to Tom Mukamal, IGY’s CEO, on a plane flight. A conversation ensued between the two, and Marc soon recounted his father’s long dedication to the Virgin Islands community and its youth. The U.S. territory is one in which Mukamal is very familiar, as IGY manages both Yacht Haven Grand and American Yacht Harbor marinas on St. Thomas.
“Tom wanted to reach out to Jimmy and especially the children. by donating to the Marine Vocational Program,” said Elizabeth DiDomenico, general manager of IGY’s American Yacht Harbor.
Island Capital Group LLC. and Island Global Yachting Ltd., along with the organization’s investors, friends, customers and partners created the NYC Eastern Caribbean Relief Fund for the explicit purpose of aiding in the recovery, relief and humanitarian needs of those living in the Eastern Caribbean following profound devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
Founded in 2005, IGY focuses on acquiring, controlling and/or servicing luxury-yacht marinas and the surrounding upland real estate properties. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., IGY also has offices in New York, NY; St. Thomas, USVI.
The MVP, started in 2007 and locally registered as a not-for-profit in 2017, operates to serve as a vocational institution that provides V.I. youth with a career path into the marine/hospitality/tourism industries. The program includes learn-to-swim, sailing, small boat handling, operation skills and scuba diving. Current MVP students are also members of the Boys & Girls Club of St. Thomas and St. John.