Seven members of the McQuaid Jesuit crew team will row 340 miles on the Erie Canal to raise money for youth, beginning at 6:30 a.m. June 22.
The Row for Hope will start in Buffalo and will end seven days later when the boys row through their 34th lock and into the Hudson River, north of Albany.
This year’s team is supporting Camp Good Days & Special Times. Camp Good Days helps families whose lives have been touched by cancer and other life threatening challenges through residential camping experiences held at their Recreational Facility on Keuka Lake, as well as year-round, recreational and support activities and events held across Upstate New York in Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse and the Southern Tier Region. In these programs, children and families affected by cancer can be surrounded by those who know what it is like to be them.
Camp Good Days’ programs and services are provided free of charge to the participants, which is not possible without the success of their fundraisers and the generosity of the community. Ninety cents of every dollar they raise goes directly toward their programs and services. Camp Good Days is a celebration of life, with those who have learned to appreciate it the most; a place where courage knows no boundaries.
The rowers have set a goal to raise $40,000 for Camp Good Days this year. In setting this goal, McQuaid Row for Hope is set to reach the milestone of raising over $200,000 for charity.
In previous years, the boys were recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals with the Outstanding Youth Fundraising Award.
“It was an honor to join our 2015 Row for Hope team as they rightly received recognition from the Association of Fundraising Professionals,” said McQuaid Principal Adam Baber. “Their project shows what all of us can do when we apply our gifts to something bigger than ourselves and shift our focus from mere achievement to meaningful contribution. I am proud of our rowers’ ongoing commitment to the Row for Hope, and look forward to supporting future successful projects.”
The boys will row 10 hours and approximately 45 miles each day. To put the endurance of this journey into perspective, the trip is equivalent to rowing from Boston to Washington, D.C. These rowers compete throughout the fall and spring in races that are either 6,000 or 2,000 meters in length, quite a bit less than what they will be rowing on any day that week.
“The first day, we rowed 26 miles by lunch. That’s a marathon. We had to get back in the boat after lunch and do it again in the afternoon,” said Cam Pizzo, class of 2013, who was part of the first Row for Hope in 2012.
The cornerstone of a Jesuit education is to develop “Men for Others.” These seven young men have chosen to forego a week of their summer vacation to do just that.
“The Row for Hope allows us to spread love and positivity to those who need it most, while having fun along the way. This is what really brings people together; spreading love and having fun,” said Jacob Penna, class of 2020, who will take part in this year’s row.