90th Anniversary Of U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Hangar Held At Shake-A-Leg Miami

Official Press Release of Shake-A-Leg Miami

Located on the Biscayne Bay, the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Hangar is one of the most iconic buildings in Miami. Built in 1932, this historic seaplane hangar is listed on the National Register of Historic Places with the U.S. Department of Interior, part of the first permanent U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in the country.  

For the past 30 years, working together with the City of Miami, this building has served as the cornerstone of Shake-A-Leg Miami’s mission of utilizing the marine environment to improve the health, education and independence of children, adults and veterans with disabilities in an inclusive community setting. With a number of special guests in attendance, on Saturday, December 10th, Shake-A-Leg Miami hosted a well-attended community event to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the hangar and its continuous life-saving and life-enriching public service. This event was generously sponsored by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

Speakers included First Chairwoman Christine King, City of Miami Board of Commissioners, retiring Commissioner Ken Russell, The Children’s Trust Director of Programs Rachel Spector, U.S. Congressman Maria Elvira Salazar representative Maggie Riquelme, and Patrick Morris representing Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levin Cava.

“We all support Shake-A-Leg and I am proud of that. I look forward to working with you to improve the community, our children, adults and everyone who participates in this program. I look forward to being here many more times,” declared Commissioner Christine King.

Retiring Commissioner Ken Russell remarked, “The last time I was here I made a promise, and that promise is to extend the agreement for Shake-A-Leg to operate on city land and I would get this done before I left. And we did it. Unanimously, every commissioner voted to extend that agreement.”

Introduced by Shake-A-Leg Miami Board President Cristian Bedoya, Shake-A-Leg Miami co-founder and President, Harry Horgan stated, “We really believe that getting out on the water will make you feel better, overcome challenges, and help you believe that you can do more. So together we welcome over 8,000 people a year, serving dreams and launching boats.”

U.S. Coast Guard Captain Tina Peña was the Guest of Honor. A south Florida native with 28 years in the Coast Guard, Captain Peña serves as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Coast Guard 7th District. Captain Tina Peña commanded Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico and Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, and is an experienced helicopter pilot who has conducted numerous air-sea rescue operations in local waters.

“The history of the Coast Guard is really neat here in Miami. The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 is one case in point. LT. Clemmer took his seaplane out dropped over 100 message blocks to people to let them know the hurricane was getting ready to hit. He probably saved a lot of lives. Then afterwards, that same LT. Clemmer put 16 people in a seaplane, who were badly injured in the Florida Keys, and brought them back up to Miami for life-saving care. Stories like this abound,” stated Captain Peña. “We assist people all the time in the Coast Guard and so does Shake-A-Leg. To Mr. Horgan and the entire Shake, thank you for your willingness to jump in, and for giving to others, and for continuing a legacy of service right here in this hangar.”

Addressing a diverse audience in the hangar, including children and adults with disabilities, veterans, volunteers and donors, Horgan stated in closing, “we commit to the Coast Guard that we will keep the spirit of the hangar alive and our waters safe.” Shake-A-Leg Miami hosted a free Bay Day for the community, offering opportunities to share inclusive access to Biscayne Bay with sailing, boat rides to the spoiler islands, kayaking, as well as a Christmas toy drive for children.

For more information about Shake-A-Leg visit www.shakealegmiami.org.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Reynolds.


1 thought on “90th Anniversary Of U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Hangar Held At Shake-A-Leg Miami

  1. As U.S. Coast Guard Auxlliary Commander for Flotilla 65, Miami-South, I was pleased to attend the event at the USCG Air Station hangar. Flotilla 65 is proud of this piece of Coast Guard history and looks forward to its many more years of service. It was a beautiful day and a good opportunity to also thank Shake-a-Leg for its contribution to the community.

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