Some of these excellent media features have presented an air of finality about the Delta Queen’s fate. Don’t let the drama of the boat’s forced retirement next Saturday make you give up hope. Even after the exemption expires on November 1, a renewal by the “Lame Duck” pro forma session of Congress returning after the election, or even by the newly seated Congress in January can open the door for a new owner to market a late-starting 2009 season, or at the very least make plans for a 2010 season.

Without an exemption renewal the Delta Queen will not have a next season.

Congress is focused on developing solutions to the economic crisis. This gives a perfect opening to remind them that the Delta Queen is not asking Congress for any funding, just permission to operate. The Delta Queen directly employs about 150 crew members AND the boat benefits the local economies of dozens of river communities with tours and shopping.

Contact your Congressional representatives
Call, write, email, fax, go visit the local offices of your Congressional representatives. Fight for the Delta Queen!

Contact your local media.
As a news story or feature gains energy, many other media outlets get interested that previously might not have been. This is a great time for you to contact your local media and encourage them to do a feature. If you’ve traveled with us before, you can provide the local connection to a national story. Remember, there is no media outlet too small. Every cable show, local paper, small magazine, etc. has an audience that they reach. Every audience has Congressional representatives. They will all be needed to get this job done.

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In the last week the Delta Queen has been covered by USA Today (CLICK HERE TO READ IT) and the New York Times (CLICK HERE TO READ IT) . Both in a week are more that we could dream of…but there is more still…

Early Saturday morning, many of the crew were gathered around the television in the crew mess to watch Good Morning America Weekend. The ABC crew was onboard about a month ago filming for this piece and talented producer Glen Dacy kindly updated us that it was scheduled to air. Sure enough, they did a wonderful piece about the Delta Queen, focused mostly on her history and significance. The photography, shot by cameraman Pete, was absolutely beautiful. He really caught her charming character. If you haven’t seen it yet, click on the link below

http://abcnews.go.com/search?searchtext=delta%20queen&type= and click on the “Delta Queen Dethroned” featured video icon.

Special thanks to reporter Chris Bury and producer Glen Dacy, along with cameraman Pete and Jeff on audio. Terrific job guys!

We are hopeful that the story will provoke viewers to search for more information about the Delta Queen’s forced retirement and get involved in contacting their Congressional representatives to encourage renewing the necessary exemption to allow the Delta Queen’s continued operation.

CNN Headline News
I also had a phone interview Saturday morning with Linda Stouffer on CNN’s Headline News. I have already heard that the short piece was repeatedly aired on Saturday. More great news! A friend emailed me a link to the story posted online:

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/ireports/2008/10/25/ireport.delta.queen.cnn?iref=videosearch

It’s this kind of media coverage that will give the Delta Queen a chance when Congress reconvenes after the election. Increased awareness and support translate into political energy.

Yes, it’s been exciting in the last week to see the boat covered by USA Today, the New York Times, CNN, and ABC’s Good Morning America. These reach a lot of people. But I must say how very grateful for the support and coverage provided by regional and local media that have frequently visited the boat recently. As the vessel Public Relations contact, I have been very busy meeting with reporters, escorting photographers and cameramen, and giving phone interviews. Today, I didn’t even get off the boat waiting to visit with a reporter and later a photographer from Evansville, IN.

Let’s hope this exposure helps increase the awareness of Congressional representatives and boosts the efforts to Save the Delta Queen.

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DELTA QUEEN SAFETY TOUR VIDEO
We have completed a Five-Minute Tour of the Delta Queen’s Safety Equipment and Training
which provides effective Prevention, Detection, Suppression, and Evacuation. 

TO WATCH THE VIDEO, CLICK HERE.

Please share this link with your Congressional Representatives so when a bill eventually comes to a vote, they will already be aware of the issues and comfortable with endorsing the boat’s safety.

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Mayor Riffle and Captain Thoeny

Mayor Riffle and Captain Thoeny

The poignant, beautiful, heartbreaking days continue. Today we said farewell to Point Pleasant, WV as about 300 lined the banks to say their goodbyes. Mayor Riffle made some very nice remarks and Delta Queen Captain Paul Thoeny presented the city with a lovely plaque.

Local costumed historical characters fired black powder musket salutes and the towboat “Fred Way” docked alongside. Fred Way was the Delta Queen’s first pilot after she came around from California in 1947. It was a touching gesture. They even escorted us several miles downriver. What a terrific tribute by the city and local citizens. Many passengers and crew were deeply moved.

We continue to hope that the DQ will visit Point Pleasant again someday.

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Delta Queen supporter Barack Obama

Delta Queen supporter Barack Obama

Obama issues statement supporting efforts to Save The Delta Queen!

Presidential candidate and Illinois Senator Barack Obama has signed on as a sponsor of the Senate bill (S. 3498) submitted by George Voinovich (R-Ohio). This gives our effort a terrific boost to have a presidential candidate as a co-sponsor.

In a press release issued October 1, Obama said:

As the last remaining authernic, operable riverboat in the world, the Delta Queen is a valuable part of our nation’s heritage that we have a duty to preserve and protect for future generations. As she makes her final stops in Point Pleasant, I urge Congress to support this effort to ensure the DeLta Queen may continue to serve the people of Ohio and West Virginia for years to come.”

Here’s a big whistle salute to Senator Obama for his support: WHISTLE SALUTE

ATTENTION McCAIN SUPPORTERS:

To provide balance and continue the spirit of bi-partisan support for the Delta Queen – a National Historic Landmark – we now need to urge Presidential candidate and Arizona Senator John McCain to also join S. 3498 as a co-sponsor.  

John McCain

John McCain

As a presidential candidate, John McCain needs to hear from everyone to urge his support. Call his campaign at:
202-224-2235
Or fax him a letter at 202-228-2862.

Call now!

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The video posted above which I helped the Delta Queen crew produce is getting lots of attention. We can’t access YouTube here on the boat, but I am told that the YouTube posting has already received more than 2,000 hits!

The video was posted in YouTube’s “Nonprofits & Activism” category and their stats note the following about the video’s response:
#3 – Most Viewed (Today) – Nonprofits & Activism
#27 – Most Viewed (This Week) – Nonprofits & Activism
#4 – Top Rated (This Week) – Nonprofits & Activism
#5 – Most Discussed (This Week) – Nonprofits & Activism
#19 – Top Favorited (This Week) – Nonprofits & Activism
#43 – Top Rated (This Month) – Nonprofits & Activism

The Kentucky Post website also wrote a promotion of the piece. Read it HERE. There is another mention on the ABC WPCO website HERE. 

Thank you, readers, for your wonderful support. Keep spreading the news!

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Mary Charlton
Mary Charlton

Mary Charlton is the Discovery Guide aboard the Delta Queen and she has been motivating the crew to write letters to send to talk show hosts. Their dream target: Oprah Winfrey! I have seen some of these letters, and they are powerful testimonials about how much this crew loves this boat and the service they provide to our guests as custodians of an American Treasure.

Mary also asked me to help produce a small video that could be sent along that might help catch the media’s attention. Much thanks to all the crew, especially Mary and Jennifer Lemmon for many of the photos. Here is what we came up with:

Please help us spread the word! Email this link to your favorite local and national news and TV shows.

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