Tom Brueshaber - 2018 GLSPS Appreciation Award
As a non-profit the GLSPS relies solely on goodwill and volunteers to complete its mission. As such, the GLSPS owes a debt of thanks to many, many people, but none so quietly giving and deserving as Tom Brueshaber. Tom entered our circle of friends in 1994 as the big hearted, ex-marine MP, giant of a man, who had built with his dive partner Dave Schmidt an amazing ice diving operation. He gladly volunteered his ice diving facilities and expertise to our first shipwreck preservation project on the Samuel P. Ely, the project that bonded the founders of GLSPS. He shared in the year-long series of meetings and discussions to hammer out the By-Laws and direction of our infant society while keeping us all entertained with his endless tales of humorous revelry. He is a founding member of GLSPS and has served on the board from its inception until this year when his work commitments dictated moving on. He served as board secretary for almost twenty of those years.
His commitment to the society did not end with meetings and administration. Tom is a carpenter by trade and a quintessential builder. From his Four Star ice diving shelter, to the underwater rebuilding of the SS America walls and bunks, to building a shelter to rehabilitate the GLSPS boat Preservation, to many hours working on the Preservation, to sharing in the building of the SS America spiral staircase display now visible at the Great Lake Aquarium in Duluth, to rebuilding numerous parts of the SS Meteor, and even to building the backdrop for our GLSPS display booth, you could say Tom helped forge GLSPS by the sweat of his brow and the strength of his hands. When the GLSPS needed money Tom would set aside a construction job from his own business for a community barn raising so to speak. GLSPS members could donate their labor to build a garage or roof a house with payment going to GLSPS. Of course Tom did the lion’s share of the work anyway and it certainly took income away from his business, but hard work and giving is what Tom is about. The truth is I don’t know that any of us will ever know everything Tom does and gives to GLSPS because he just quietly does it without mention or fanfare. Things just get done. He has run the raffle and silent auction at our UMSAT Show since we started having raffles. It was just this year that we realized that no one else on the show committee knew all of the details to putting these events together, because they just happened and usually got completed without a hitch.
For twenty two years of toil and service, for all of the things you do for the GLSPS, with and without recognition, we say thanks. For being a good friend to us all for these twenty some years, for sharing all of the good times and the trying times, just saying thanks can never be enough, but we know it’s more than you want. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society humbly awards our friend, founder, and coworker Tom Brueshaber its 2018 GLSPS Appreciation Award.