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My Fellow Clevelanders:

I am pleased to present this annual report of the USS Cleveland Legacy Foundation (USSCLF). The Foundation’s vision is to support positive civil-military relations by creating and maintaining a strong, meaningful, and direct bond between citizens of northeast Ohio and the crew of USS Cleveland (LCS 31) – the fourth U.S. Navy warship named in honor of the City of Cleveland.

Although our ship’s construction timeline has experienced repeated extensions, the Foundation has taken advantage of the additional time to cultivate key relationships, build operating and endowment funds, and plan for the future. Together, we have continued to expand public awareness throughout Greater Cleveland, engage meaningfully with the ship’s crew in Jacksonville, and prepare for an exceptional celebration when the future USS Cleveland is commissioned in her namesake city. That highly anticipated weeklong series of events is now tentatively scheduled for summer 2025.

The USSCLF maintained an active programming calendar throughout 2023, hosting the now customary port visit of another sister littoral combat ship, coordinating the first Navy Week in our city since 2018, and presenting the Cleveland Navy Ball to celebrate the U.S. Navy’s 248th birthday. The most noteworthy event of the year, however, was the christening and launch of the future USS Cleveland, a milestone in the life and legacy of any ship.

The Foundation also surpassed the 80 percent mark of Launching a Legacy, our inaugural campaign to raise $5,000,000.31 to support ongoing operations leading to the ship’s commissioning and to prepare for the subsequent phases of service life support and establishment of a museum ship. We remain deeply grateful to our generous supporters for their investment in this project.

In preparing this year’s report, I note that the time has come to pass the guidon to a new leader as I pursue another opportunity to serve our community. It was a highlight of my career to co-found and lead the Foundation from inception to a thriving nonprofit. After five years at the helm, I am pleased to transition a financially secure, philanthropically embraced, and operationally sound organization to its next leader, Brigadier General Pete Collins, USMC (Ret).

I have every confidence that with Pete and Courtney’s steady leadership, the Board’s responsible oversight, and the community’s abiding support, the USS Cleveland Legacy Foundation will continue carrying out its vision and executing its mission on a truly remarkable civic initiative. It has been my sincere joy to lead this fine organization. Go Navy!

Chief Executive Officer (2019-2024)

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