In Galveston, Texas, community efforts to restore an old shrimp boat have benefitted from the Texas A&M Circle K International club. When the 2016–17 school started, restoration of the 1937 boat became one of the first projects tackled by the club.
Club members got involved in the restoration after Linda Stevens, Texas A&M at Galveston CKI president, met a local woman who volunteered on the project. The two struck up a conversation and the boat restoration was mentioned. Linda quickly got involved and realized it was something other club members would enjoy, too. Work began in August, cleaning the inside and outside, moving equipment and tools and helping local volunteers bring the old vessel back to its 1930s heyday.
Of the 24 club members, 10 have helped with the Santa Maria restoration. The club also has volunteered doing similar work at Seawolf Park with the U.S.S. Cavalla, a World War II submarine, and with the U.S.S. Stewart, a destroyer escort.
“The history of the Santa Maria and the feeling you get being on that boat is all too real,” Linda said. “It’s like the feeling you get when you go to your grandparent’s house. Even if you have never been on that boat before, you can feel all the memories and history.”
A marine biology major, Linda values the historical importance of Galveston and recognizes the shrimp boat is one of the remaining chapters of a rich nautical story.
“What attracted me most was probably all the love and importance shown by those trying to preserve the Santa Maria,” she said.
When beginning college, Linda says she fell in love with “everything CKI stood for” and wanted to introduce that feeling to others. She’s served as secretary and president and said she’s been introduced to wonderful opportunities through service with CKI.
“CKI has allowed me to grow as a leader and a human being,” Linda said. “I have always had a desire to serve others, but this organization has allowed me to go above and beyond what I ever thought I could do, by bringing students together and making our community better, as well as making great friends.”
Joe Grillo (left) and Linda Stevens (right)
right to left: Kristen Iannello, Nola Canann, Marissa Malinoski, Rebecca Burgamy, Robert Mani, Steven Lopez, Hailey Lawson, Kai Jie Sheng, Martee Hathorn, Josephine Sullivan, Craig Sullivan, Katherine Rodriguez, Christian Sullivan, Robert Mihovil, and Joe Grillo in front.(the first nine are members)