By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Twenty-eight years ago, the Pride of Baltimore II was launched. It continued the mission of the original Pride to be a goodwill ambassador for the city and the state.

Now, as Mike Schuh reports, the state has recommitted its partnership.

Walking aboard the Pride of Baltimore is like stepping back 200 years. Now her gangplank groans and the winter wind whips through her naked masts. She is in the water, covered with winter plastic and her captain is aboard with important news about her mission.

In 2008, the state reduced her funding and with no year-to-year commitment. Now, for the next three years, the state will give a total of $1.5 million. The money will increase the state’s use of the Pride as she travels, introducing the country and the world to Maryland.

“That months later, maybe even years later, wound up with business because there was an introduction made,” said Captain Jan Miles.

When the economic downturn hit, the Pride used money it had its savings from an endowment.

“We hope not to have to draw from the endowment in the coming years and, in fact, grow the endowment so we are sustainable long-term,” Miles said.

When the Pride sails into town, it attracts thousands, a floating billboard that makes people remember our city and our state.

“No other city, no other state has a device that is so unique and so iconic,” said Pride Executive Director Rick Scott. “Internationally, she’s got world-wide renown.”

This summer, the Pride will sail the bay, the East Coast and into the Great Lakes.

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