Port Tampa Bay and the Tampa Port Ministries celebrated its recent the annual Anchor Ball charity event at the port’s Cruise Terminal 3. The annual fundraiser and auction support the day-to-day operations of Tampa Port Ministries, the Tampa Seafarers Center, and provide funds for the Tampa Bay Maritime Scholarship Foundation, which provides scholarships benefitting graduates of Hillsborough County Schools’ high school maritime studies program, created by the Port of Tampa Propeller Club chapter.

The Port of Tampa said it joined the International Propeller Club of the United States and the Port of Tampa Maritime Industries Association (PTMIA) in promoting the Anchor Ball and its importance to the port community. As part of an ongoing annual tradition, Richard Ghent, of The Mosaic Company, was honored as recipient of the Captain James McKay Lifetime Achievement Award, for his long-term leadership, involvement and contributions to the phosphate industry.

The Tampa Seafarers Center, operated by Tampa Port Ministries and staffed by dedicated volunteers, serves the crews of cargo and cruise ships that visit the port by meeting the physical, social and spiritual needs of seafarers, often of modest means, who spend weeks and months at sea, away from their homes and families.

“Each year, the Tampa port community comes together to celebrate its past, present and future at the Anchor Ball. It is very gratifying to see strong support for the work of the Tampa Seafarers Center and this important scholarship program that benefits students and that more long term benefits the port industry locally,” said Paul Anderson, port president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Our port is very fortunate to have a committed organization that provides critical services and care for seafarers from all over the world. I also thank the Steinbrenner family for their continued support of this charity event. Moreover, we are very pleased to see Richard Ghent, a respected port leader and Mosaic executive, honored with the Captain James McKay Award for his impressive leadership and contributions over the years.”