The San Francisco Bar Pilots have joined forces with several local community partners to give back to the city it has called home for nearly 170 years.
Over the last two decades, the Bar Pilots have made the San Francisco Fire Department holiday toy drive a highlight of their charitable endeavors, scaling their end-of-the-year effort from five bikes in 1998 when the tradition first began to over 100 bikes in 2018. Along the way, the San Francisco Bar Pilots have helped create special holiday memories for thousands of San Francisco children. Each year, the Bar Pilots welcome firefighters to pick up the toys collected at their annual holiday open house to add to the department’s holiday push.
The mission of the National Liberty Ship Memorial is to restore, promote and operate the Liberty Ship, SS Jeremiah O’Brien, as a living museum. The goal of this mission is to preserve, for present and future generations, the story of the patriotic and brave men and women who built, sailed and defended the 2,751 American-built World War II ships known as Liberties.
Since this ship’s rescue from the “mothball fleet” and return to San Francisco in the 1980’s, the Bar Pilots have been serving as volunteer tour guides to visitors, and have been providing pilotage services to the Memorial free of charge.
Since 1993, the San Francisco Bar Pilots have proudly supported the California Maritime Academy and the students that benefit from the Academy’s stellar education. In October 2015, the Bar Pilots announced an enhanced scholarship program, the San Francisco Bar Pilots Pioneer Scholarship Program. Named after Mayor Willie Brown and the nation’s first female Bar Pilot Nancy Wagner, the San Francisco Bar Pilots awards two students who show an adventurous, ambitious, and leading-edge approach to their studies with an annual $5,000 scholarship.
Pilotage costs for the California Maritime Academy training ship (T/S Golden Bear) are donated back to the University, a long-standing tradition of support and benefit to the institution where many San Francisco Bar Pilots earned their start in the maritime profession.
To improve diversity within the ranks of pilotage across the country, the San Francisco Bar Pilots launched an Outreach Committee to educate experienced and prospective mariners about career opportunities in the maritime industry, and on the path to becoming a pilot in the San Francisco Bay. Included in these efforts are the annual Willie Brown and Nancy Wagner CMA scholarships, and support for the Tom Scott’s Summer Academic Enrichment Program (SAEP). The committee also pioneered a year-long maritime curriculum at Oakland’s McClymond’s High School in conjunction with their African-American Male Achievement Program and participates in the yearly Women in Maritime Leadership conference.