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IOWA Update 03/29/20

IOWA Family:

Thank you for your generous contributions, support and outpouring of love for our organization.  We are truly blessed to have an incredible family of supporters!

Thank you to the crew that continues to volunteer securing and maintaining the ship.  We couldn’t do it without you!

Thank you to the numerous donors across the country that continue to help us through this crisis.  Thank you to our Board of Directors and President’s Advisory Board for their leadership and commitment during this time of need.  They have stepped up to help support both financially and their knowledge to ensure a strong future for our organization.

As many of you know, fellow Surface Navy ship USNS Mercy arrived at the Port of Los Angeles last Friday.  She is moored at the Cruise Terminal next to us and is here to support the hospital system with non-Covid 19 patients.  I have received questions regarding the crew and how they will maintain a safe environment aboard MERCY.  In the simplest terms, the MERCY is basically in a bubble where only patients are allowed on for intake and off for discharge.  The crew is not allowed on or off the ship and is unable to order takeout or receive independent deliveries of food or other items.  This is for the safety of both patients and the crew.  Please keep in mind that she is here responding to a crisis and will not entertain tours under any circumstance.

We are also moored in the Port of Los Angeles Cruise Terminal complex and are therefore behind the secure zone.  Our premises are locked down for entry from all but those pre-approved and on the access list.  Personnel on the IOWA pre-approved access list are only permitted to come on the premises to do their specific task at the IOWA   For those personnel on this list, I am respectfully asking you to follow the safe-at-home health order when you are away from the ship to help prevent any exposure within the footprint.  Please do your best to maintain social distance, proper hygiene, and help prevent the spread of the virus.  Additionally, please maintain confidentiality for the safety and security of the footprint.

A couple of additional updates:

Financing and Liquidity.  Thank you to all contributors (small and large) for supporting us during this critical time.  Our amazing bank – Farmers & Merchants Bank in Long Beach – have come forward to assist with providing us with some additional support over the next couple of months.  We are truly appreciative for their partnership.  Nui and Ross have done a great job in preparing the required information for the SBA Disaster Loan and Business Interruption Claim.  Both of these are still pending and we hope to have more information soon.  We will be following these developments and programs will adjust the organization accordingly for long-term sustainability.

Reopening Plans.  The team continues to research potential outcomes of this situation as well as timeline.  Craig Post is preparing tour plans that adhere to social distancing and a clean environment.  Ro has been working on plans to reopen the Overnight Program to support social distancing requirements as well.  We are currently looking at April 19th for a date to reopen, but I suspect that we may see this extended through the end of April.  As soon as we have more information, we will let you know.  You can find an article on impact to Cultural Institutions here:

Virtual Tours and Education.  Ro Moser has been working on Virtual Education programs, in which you may have received an email on this.  We are grateful for Marathon Petroleum and L.A. Unified School District Beyond the Bell support of our education programs and for assisting us with ensuring students still have access to the great content we offer.  Guru has modified the free app available in the Apple and Android App store to be utilized at home.  The app has great content accessible 24 hours per day from the comfort and safety of your own home.

In closing, I must stress how proud I am of our crew and organization.  We are a platform that supports the needs of our community and the future of our country.  The value of our numerous programs comes to light in a time like now. Our support of first responder training and disaster preparedness has helped facilitate critical relationships and knowledge that has assisted during this crisis.  Thank you all for your support and blessings!

Stay safe!

-Jonathan Williams (President & CEO)

(Aerial photo by Dave Marsden)

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