Spartan Nash joined with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and Museum to sponsor a celebration event for the Commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) aircraft carrier. The event took place on July 22, 2017 at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan simultaneously as the events at the Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia.
Activities sponsored by Spartan Nash, included: an American Red Cross blood drive on site; toy boat races in the Museum’s fountain, letter writing to seaman aboard the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford; performances by the Salvation Army Brass Band; games and activities to be led by individuals from the Salvation Army Kroc Corps Community Center; and refreshments including a giant cupcake flag.
Patrick Walsh, a retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral who last served as commander of the Pacific Fleet also spoke to the attendees from throughout West Michigan. Along with the full capacity in the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum auditorium, hundreds more gathered outside the Museum to watch the Commissioning events from webcast on the jumbo iron screen.
The family-friendly free event began at 9:30 a.m. and featured both indoor and outdoor activities, live music and Walsh’s presentation.
Spartan Nash employees also traveled to Naval Station Norfolk to attend the Commissioning Ceremony aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford.