TOLEDO, Ohio (NNS) -- Toledo Navy Week officially kicked off Aug. 20 with an address to area business leaders from the assistant for administration to the Secretary of the Navy, along with several community relation events.
Carla Lucchino, assistant for administration to the Secretary of the Navy, visited the Toledo Rotary Club luncheon Aug. 20 and delivered a speech regarding the mission and future of the Navy, speaking also to the importance of civic service.
"We're honored to have the city of Toledo host us as we engage with local corporate and community leaders, interact with the public and perform various community service projects," said Lucchino.
At the Cherry Street Mission, Sailors sorted and prepared food for breakfast, lunch and dinner to be served to more than 250 area residents in need. Leaders of the mission were thrilled to have a group of Sailors on hand to help with these daily tasks.
"It's been great having them. They serve our country, now they're serving the Toledo community," said Matthew Harris, supervising chef at the Cherry Street Mission. "Later we'll see if they know how to cook."
Sailors from outside of Toledo said it was a rewarding way to represent the Navy to the Northwest Ohio area.
"I looked at all of the different missions and events, and [the Cherry Street Mission] seemed like an interesting way to get involved in the area and meet other Sailors," said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Cordell Thompson, who traveled from New Jersey.
Around the corner from the Cherry Street Mission, six chief petty officer selectees teamed up with The Ability Center of Greater Toledo to build a wheelchair ramp at a group home for senior citizens, one of whom is a disabled veteran.
"Here in Ohio, we are treated so well," said Chief (select) Aviation Warfare Systems Operator David Shepherd. "This is just our way to say thank you for supporting us."
The build was scheduled for two days, but by noon, the ramp was nearly complete.
Other Sailors helped unload and sort donations at the St. Paul's Lutheran Church warehouse, which will be parceled out to various nonprofit organizations in Toledo.
Sailors also helped the Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity perform some minor repairs and exterior painting for low-income homeowners, a community engagement that will continue throughout the week.
"Toledo was carefully chosen as one of 15 cities this year where America's Navy will 'come home' to demonstrate the mission of the U.S. Navy and the proud Navy and Marine Corps heritage," said Lucchino.
Toledo Navy Week is one of 15 Navy weeks across the country this year. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they make in their Navy. Toledo Navy Week is one of the signature events commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the Star Spangled Banner.
Three ships are scheduled to arrive at the Maumee Riverfront in downtown Toledo Aug. 23 in support of Toledo Navy Week. USS Hurricane (PC 3), USS De Wert (FFG 45), and the historic USS Niagara, a War of 1812 replica tall ship constructed using the original wreckage salvaged from a Lake Erie bay in 1913, will be open for tours during the event.
For more information about Toledo Navy week 2012 visit www.navyweek.org.
For more information about the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, visit www.ourflagwasstillthere.org.
For more news from Navy Office of Community Outreach, visit www.navy.mil/local/navco/.