NEW YORK (NNS) -- Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsman participated in the annual Project Hope event aboard amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) and at Times Square Church in Manhattan as part of 2017 Fleet Week New York (FWNY), May 27.
The event paired 30 homeless children under the age of 16 with different service members as they toured the Fleet Week flagship and enjoyed food, games and a reception at the Times Square Church.
"Over the past 11 years we've organized a community service project for the Sailors, Coast Guardsmen and the Marines when they're here during Fleet Week," said Dr. Bill Butler, volunteer director of Times Square Church. "We decided to call it 'Project Hope' because we thought it was a great opportunity to bring in some homeless children from different parts of the city and allow this event to be an opportunity for the child to kind of become a buddy with a service member for a fun afternoon."
The children and service members had the opportunity to tour the ship and interact with the different exhibits and aircraft that were on display.
"I like just seeing the Sailors and the kids have fun," Butler continued. "They were awestruck being on the USS Kearsarge. Seeing the ship, sitting in some of the vehicles, sitting in the helicopter, it was just an incredible and awesome time for the children."
Intelligence Specialist Seaman Alexis Marina, assigned to Kearsarge, said she was happy to have spent the day hanging out with the kids.
"I liked the whole experience, but I would say my favorite part was the tour because that's when we really got the chance to really interact with each child," Marina said. "The stuff that we take for granted that we see everyday, like going on the flight deck, we don't appreciate anymore but they are very excited for it. It was just beautiful to see."
Now in its 29th year, FWNY is the city's time-honored celebration of the sea services. It is an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today's maritime services. FWNY will be commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Naval Construction Forces' "Seabees."
For up-to-date information on all FWNY events, visit the official FWNY website at www.fleetweeknewyork.com, "Like" FleetWeekNewYork on Facebook, or "Follow" @FleetWeekNYC on Twitter. FWNY photos can be viewed on Flickr at www.flickr.com/photos/fwnypao and Instagram at www.instagram.com/fleetweeknyc. Join the conversation on social media by using #FleetWeekNYC. Follow the Seabee Commemoration at #Seabee75th.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrma/.