Welcome

Welcome to USS Colorado (SSN-788) Commissioning Committee web site. USS Colorado (SSN-788) is the 15th Virginia Class submarine and completed construction at Electric Boat shipyard and has been delivered to the Navy. After completing shakedown operations, it is expected to be commissioned on March 17th, 2018. Our committee's purposes are to promote awareness within the state, provide support for the crew, and to help organize and raise money for the events surrounding commissioning.

05. August 2017 · Comments Off on Committee makes presentation to Senator Gardner · Categories: Committee Event, Other Event

On July 21st the Committee, in conjunction with sponsor Charles Schwab, presented a framed picture of the ship’s crest to Senator Cory Gardner. On hand were Committee members Ryan Schwab, Dick Cooper and Florence Mackin along with several members of Charles Schwab organization at the Schwab campus in Lone Tree. Several members of Senator Gardner’s staff were also on hand, including 3 interns working for the summer in his Denver office. The Senator was interested in the activities of the committee over the past 3 years. He was proud to add his signature to our “traveling” picture of a Virginia Class submarine, and was quite impressed with the picture of the ship’s crest which will hang in his office in Washington, DC.

14. June 2017 · Comments Off on Governor Signs USS Colorado Bill · Categories: Committee Event, Other Event

In ceremonies at the State Capitol on June 5th, Governor Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 17-183, Support for USS Colorado Commissioning into law. The bill appropriates $100,000 to the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs to make grants for the purpose paying for expenses related to the commissioning of USS Colorado, promoting awareness of USS Colorado within the state; and to support the crew.

Twelve members of the committee and six sailors from the local Navy Recruiting District office were in attendance. One of the sailors, MMN1 Scott Gold, currently has orders to report to USS Colorado in September as a permanent member of the crew.

Those attending Included Sandie Bourassa, daughter of recently deceased WWII submarine Veteran Andy Palenchar. Andy was the sailor who pulled LTJG George H. W. Bush from the Pacific after the future President was shot down. Andy went on to serve as an officer in the Army, serving in Korea and two tours in Vietnam retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was an active participants in USS Colorado events here.

Also on display at the signing was the ship’s bell that will be on USS Colorado. The bell is a gift from the USS Colorado Battleship (BB45) Association to the submarine and cast by noted Colorado sculptor George Lundeen. The bell was rung in celebration upon the signing of the bill.

While this grant means that we have met our fundraising goal, we are still accepting donations. Money raised in excess of our obligations will go to a scholarship fund for crew’s families administered by the Dolphin Scholarship Foundation and will also help fund future crew visits to the state after commissioning.

25. September 2016 · Comments Off on Committee Hosts Gala and Auction · Categories: Committee Event, Crew VIsit, Gala

USS Colorado Committee held their fund-raising Gala and Auction on September 17th at Charles Schwab’s Event Center at their new campus in Lone Tree. About 180 persons attended the event including the three visiting crew members.

The event opened with a cocktail hour at the hosted bar. The weather cooperated with a beautiful September day, allowing open access from the event center onto a terrace with spectacular views of the mountains. About 40 silent auction items were available for people to bid on. The Committee incorporated an on-line auction function that allowed persons not able to attend the Gala to bid on silent auction items.

The emcee for the evening was Steffan Tubbs, KOA morning show radio host and President of Mountain Time Media  whose recent movie production ACRONYM: The Cross Generational Battle Withe PTSD focuses on this challenging problem facing many of our veterans. Steffan has been a great supporter of USS Colorado since the very beginning.

The event’s keynote speaker was Walter Borneman, historian and author ( www.walterborneman.net ). He is the author of the national bestseller The Admirals: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King — The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea. His most recent book is MacArthur at War: World War II in the Pacific. He gave a compelling talk weaving in history of previous USS Colorado’s, submarine traditions and the future USS Colorado (SSN 788).

The Executive Officer, LCDR Stephen Col surprised the two crew members he brought with him by presenting them each with awards. STS1(SS) Michael McKenna was awarded Sailor of the Quarter for PCU Colorado and MMA2(SS) Eric Robinson was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal for service while on temporary duty to USS Illinois (SSN 786).

In addition to donating use of their event center, Charles Schwab provided support in numerous ways. Fifteen volunteers from the company helped with the auction and merchandise sales throughout the evening. Individual Schwab employees were also participants in the event, purchasing tickets and tables, donating auction items and bidding both during the silent and live auction phases.

Scott Alexander of the Kildow Auction Company donated his time and expertise in conducting the live auction. There were ten items up for bid including a golf foursome at the private Sanctuary golf course, a two day John Fielder photo workshop, signed Broncos memorabilia, a special USS Colorado edition Kota Longboard, a special USS Colorado commemorative edition 44 magnum Henry rifle and a model of the submarine mounted on decking from the battleship USS Colorado (BB 45) which saw action in WWII and was decommissioned in 1947.

We were honored to have many veterans present, including two WWII vets, Andy Palenchar and Sonny Coleman and a Korean War vet, Loyd Bates. Also in attendance was Broncos football legend Billy Thomson, a 13 year veteran with the team and a Ring of Fame honoree.

In addition to Sponsorship by Schwab we had some of our other sponsors present. Richmond American Homes Foundation, the presenting sponsor for Commissioning, was present and invited several veterans to join them. Left Hand Brewing once again supplied the beer for the event and Balistreri Vineyards supplied the wine.

A core group of committee members were instrumental in putting the event together, especially the Event Planner, Natalie Sanderson.

All in all it was a great evening, raising about $30,000 towards the Commissioning Committee’s goal.

For more pictures of the event visit here.

25. July 2016 · Comments Off on Commissioning Committee to Host Gala and Auction · Categories: Committee Event, Gala

The USS Colorado (SSN 788) Commissioning Committee is proud to announce a fundraising Gala and Auction on September 17th. The event will be held on the Charles Schwab Campus in Lone Tree, CO at 5:30 PM. The evening’s emcee will be radio host Steffan Tubbs.We are pleased to have award winning author and historian Walter Borneman as the keynote speaker.

The event will start with cocktail hour followed by a buffet dinner.  Silent auction bidding will occur during this time. Our auction web site will allow for remote online bidding for silent auction items during the event. Later in the evening auctioneer Scott Alexander will conduct the live auction portion. We have already arranged for several unique and interesting items including:

  • Two-day John Fielder photo workshop
  • Golf foursome at the Sanctuary
  • Signed Broncos memorabilia
  • Special USS Colorado edition Kota Longboard
  • Special USS Colorado commemorative Henry Rifle

Tickets and sponsored tables are now available for purchase at USSCOLO16.gesture.com. Ticket prices are $125 for individuals or $325 for VIP tickets. Corporate and group sponsorship’s start at $2,500 for a table of 8 and up. See the web site for more details. Continue to visit the site as we add more items to our auction inventory.

It has been 93 years since the last USS Colorado was commissioned – so don’t let this once in a lifetime opportunity pass you by! We hope that you will join us in supporting USS Colorado and her fine officers and crew that defend our great nation.

24. September 2015 · Comments Off on Audio from “An Evening with … Veterans” · Categories: Committee Event

We have recently posted audio from the July 29 event at History Colorado of the talk of our two WWII veterans. I think you will find them to be fascinating stories:

Listen to Andy’s talk

Listen to Ken’s talk

Listen to Ken’s words to the crew of SSN 788

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