The Town of North Hempstead, in partnership with Friends of Port Rowing, have announced the Third Annual Row for Autism benefit event will take place on Saturday, April 12, at North Hempstead Beach Park in Port Washington. This year, the town’s website will stream live video of the finish line as the rowers cross over.
The event, which will begin at 9 a.m., started a couple of years ago with the goal of combining two interests: the love of rowing and the need to raise awareness about the growing number of children with autism.
The free event is sponsored by U.S. Rowing, and will feature North Hempstead high school crew clubs racing against each other, as well as rowing races by those affected by autism.
Over a dozen local area schools have already signed up for the event. Twenty-five percent of all money raised will be donated to Autism Speaks of LI, with the remainder going towards the purchase of adaptive rowing equipment, which allows a disabled teenager to be paired with a typical peer mentor.
Residents can donate at the event or online at PortRowing.com. Last year, over $30,000 was raised.
“This event offers a unique opportunity for those affected by autism to engage in the sport of rowing, while taking part in a wonderful community event,” said North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “By partnering with Port Rowing, we enable all our young athletes to compete in a top-notch rowing competition, while raising money and awareness for autism.”
In addition to competitive races, onlookers can enjoy all the amenities at North Hempstead Beach Park, as well as an on-land “learn to row” station, among other event features.
“I thank Port Rowing for bringing the ‘Row for Autism’ to the Town in 2014,” said Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio. “It combines a popular sport with raising awareness and money for a worthy cause. I am looking forward to this year’s event.”
Organizers are still encouraging additional high school teams to sign up. Teams can register until April 8 by visiting www.RegattaCentral.com. Those who cannot attend but would like to view a live webcam of the finish line action, can click the “Row for Autism” link on the Town of North Hempstead homepage at www.northhempsteadny.gov. For more information, call 311.