(WSB video of last year’s Seafair Pirates Landing at Alki)
Our timbers were shivered when Shell forwarded us the latest e-mail newsletter from Duke’s Chowder House, saying the Seafair Pirates Landing at Alki (scheduled for July 10) was in jeopardy – at risk of cancellation, or of costing the pirates a pretty penny from their own coffers – because of a shortage of sponsors. Duke’s even set up an online donation link. We have just checked with the Pirates themselves – and while they say no, the landing event is NOT in danger of cancellation, they do need $ help – stand by for the rest of the briny tale as fast as we can type it.
ADDED 1:35 PM: Just got off the phone with Mark Jensen, to whom we’ll refer with his Seafair Pirates nickname, “Keelhaul.” He says the event had “two nice sponsors arranged and contracted” – and within the span of three days, they both canceled. The price tag for the Pirates Landing is about $20,000 – including thousands just for the permits – which may sound like a lot, but isn’t really, for an event drawing that many people. If they don’t get sponsorship money, “Keelhaul” says, the Pirates’ constitution requires the cost be split among them – that means up to $500 apiece for this, and anyone who can’t pay it can’t be a Pirate any more – that’s just the way their rules work. (The Pirates are an independent organization, not bankrolled by Seafair itself, and they make 240 appearances a year, often to assist charity fundraisers.) “We don’t want to lose any pirates over this,” he says – and canceling this Alki Landing is NOT an option: A central part of the event will be granting the wish of a 13-year-old Ellensburg boy, through Make-A-Wish Foundation. As the culmination of what Keelhaul explains is a three-part wish, young Joseph Johnson will become Captain Kidd, the morning of the landing – which means he’s in charge. So how did Duke get involved with all this? They were talking to him about a sponsorship, and while that didn’t work for this year, he came up with the idea of putting out a call to his massive mailing list, asking for people to chip in. So if you want to keep one (or more) Seafair Pirates from walking the plank, here’s how to help.