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Coast Guard Foundation announces Matching Gift Challenge

by Coast Guard Foundation 20 Oct 02:56 PDT
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew assigned to Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) lands on the flight deck of the Coast Guard Cutter James while conducting hurricane relief operations in the Caribbean Sea, Sept. 6, 2019. © Coast Guard Cutter James

The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to strengthening the Coast Guard community and service by supporting members and families, announced today that thanks to a gift from Dede D'Arcy, in memory of her husband Bro D'Arcy, donations to the Foundation through October 31 will be tripled, up to $100,000. This special matching gift campaign supports health, fitness and morale projects that help Coast Guard members maintain their physical and mental health, wherever they are deployed.

"We are honored to offer this fall's triple match challenge in honor of our dear friend, Bro D'Arcy," said Susan Ludwig, Coast Guard Foundation President. "Morale and wellness support was always a top priority for Bro, and we are grateful for Dede and the D'Arcy family's commitment to Coast Guard members' health and well-being."

Donations will be applied to help Coast Guard members stay fit and ready for action through the purchase of treadmills, elliptical machines and other athletic equipment. These resources are essential, especially for cutter crews deployed at sea for months at a time. They will provide recreation for members and families through the purchase of bikes, kayaks, paddleboards and other resources used to help members unwind and enjoy time with their spouses and children. Well-designed recreation spaces provide Coast Guard families a place to connect with each other and form strong support systems. In addition, simple things like barbeque grills and outdoor gear for picnics and holiday parties help Coast Guard families bond together and strengthen Coast Guard communities. The Foundation also helps build community spaces on Coast Guard bases, so members and families have a place to congregate and establish areas for kids to have a safe place to play. Knowing their loved ones have a supportive community to rely on enables service members to fully focus while executing the Coast Guard's multiple missions.

D'Arcy — affectionately known as "Bro" to his peers — was a stockbroker in Chicago. He became a recreational boater when he and his wife Dede moved permanently to Florida in 1991. His interest in supporting the men and women of the Coast Guard started when he heard a crew make a night rescue in the Gulf of Mexico.

"I thought to myself: that's a hell of a way to make a living," he later recounted.

Eventually the Foundation and D'Arcy crossed paths, when he received a mailing asking him to support the organization. He checked with the local Coast Guard station in Fort Myers Beach to see if they knew of the Foundation, and they had. His first contribution was buying the station a new washing machine and dryer.

D'Arcy served on the Coast Guard Foundation Board of Trustees for 17 years, until his passing in 2019. During his time on the Board, he dedicated himself to helping local units around the country with meaningful morale and wellness support, as well as full mission gifts and investments in the scholarship and emergency disaster relief programs. In 2014, Bro and Dede established the Bro D'Arcy Shipmate Fund Endowment to permanently build support for Coast Guard members' morale needs in Florida.

To make a donation, please visit www.coastguardfoundation.org/triple. To learn more about the Coast Guard Foundation, or to help support its work, please visit www.coastguardfoundation.org or call (860) 535-0786.

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