Port Rowing recently hosted its first ever Port Row-a-Thon: a 20,000 meter row for 2020 to help build the program. The rowers launched their boats into Hempstead Harbor with a goal to row 20,000 meters, more than 12 miles. The event rowed right passed its fundraising goal to raise more than $50,000. Port Rowing will be able to row ahead with these funds to build out an even better program for the future.
The Port Rowing Coaches are particularly proud of their team noting, “the kids had a blast doing what they love: pulling hard with their teammates on a beautiful fall. They had the added inspiration of the long distance challenge, the incentive to raise money for much needed improvements, and the need to put on a good show for all of their supporters watching on shore.”
Unlike other rowing teams, Port Rowing is a nonprofit and does not receive school district funding. In order to keep the dues affordable, Port Rowing relies on fundraising to cover expenses, repairs and purchases of equipment and upkeep.
“In this uncertain time when most fundraising events are cancelled, we found a creative way to source from within,” fundraising committee member Cynthia Litman of MomTime Events said. “The Port Row-a-thon challenged and empowered our athletes while engaging support from their family, friends and community. The funds raised are a testament to the rowers’ love of and commitment to their sport.”
Port Rowing began in 2010 and has fast become one of the largest rowing teams in New York State competing successfully at the national level, with programs for adults and youths, drawing from the Gold Coast towns of Long Island, at all levels and abilities, including those with special needs.
Among the athletes who participated in the Row-a-thon were a father and son. Port Rowing’s Board President Vern McDermott took to the water in the adult team. His son Trey, on the Boys High School team, rowed in an eight-person boat. Three of the four adults who participated have children on the teams.
“Who knew we could get that far by rowing in circles,” McDermott said. “It was such a successful fundraiser, and an amazing day in the park and on the water. We had so many young rowers, and a few not-as-young rowers, all rowing to keep the program going. We are all so thankful to those who donated their time or money.”
Port Rowing is able to capture the best of physical discipline while creating a community of belonging often missed in today’s digital world—teaching leadership, teamwork and grit while making new friends, notwithstanding blistered hands that row in heat, rain and snow.
“The whole team is really looking forward to a successful spring season, bolstered by equipment upgrades that wouldn’t have been possible without this level of financial support,” the coaches said.
The Port Rowing team would like to give huge thanks for everyone who contributed, and to all of the parents, volunteers and fans within the community that make this program possible year after year.
A very special thank you to Port Rowing Dad and photographer Orlando Morra, for volunteering his time to photograph the event and to the Row-a-thon Fundraising Committee Larry Silverstein, Cynthia Litman, Ves Gottlieb, Christina Nadoline, Angela Ferrante and Stephen Eustace.
For more information about Port Rowing and upcoming seasons, visit www.portrowing.org.
—Submitted by Port Rowing