I am proud to be the Team Mom for Newburgh Rowing, which includes the NFA Varsity Crew Team, the Newburgh Rowing Club, and the San Miguel Academy Crew Team. The NFA Varsity Crew Team deserves more than just a passing mention. In March 2012, after 22 years as a team, the varsity crew team, along with two other varsity teams were eliminated, due to sweeping budget cuts mandated by the newly enacted NYS Tax Cap. After hearing from the 72 amazing varsity athletes, the Newburgh Board of Education voted unanimously to reinstate the Crew Team, the only varsity team to be reinstated, on the condition that we fund ourselves. We, the parents and coaches, established a 501 (c )(3 ) to raise funds. For 5 months, we went out and sold raffle tickets, held fundraisers big and small, and garnered the support of the community. Thanks to our wonderful Newburgh community, the rowers raised over $55,000.00 to reimburse the School District for our expenses and became the only 100% community funded varsity team in the history of NFA.
Along with the coaches of the Newburgh Rowing Club, a “Learn to Row” club, Mrs. Lo also helped establish the Student Ambassador Program and the San Miguel Academy Crew Team. After successfully securing two grants, for over $21,000.00, this program is now in its second year. We take children ages 10 – 17 from the City of Newburgh who are underserved, teach them to swim, teach them the otherwise “elite” sport of rowing, and make them a part of the family that is Newburgh Rowing. Last winter, we taught 21 children, who were initially afraid of the shallow end of the pool, to pass the US Rowing Swim Test, one of the most stringent swimming tests out there, but one which must be passed in order to row on open water. We now having our Student Ambassadors rowing at an incredibly competitive level, taking home medals from competitions where rowers come from around the nation to compete.