This year, a lot of hard work and a bit of start up cash will result in a new program for local high school students to study peace and justice. The hard work came from the HWS rowing teams who for the eighth consecutive year sponsored Row for Community, a charitable fundraiser where students and community members volunteer to row for an hour in exchange for donations. With the success of this year’s event, the rowing teams awarded seed money to launch the DeSales Institute for Peace and Justice.
A board of members of the rowing teams that were appointed by the coaches unanimously approved a grant to DeSales. The program was chosen out of a pool of 11 other applicants to receive the grant, of which each application was ranked by the board of rowers. DeSales received a $1,500 grant, in addition two other small grants were awarded to the Geneva Little League who received $300 and Family Counseling Service of the Finger Lakes received a $150 grant.
“The intention is to partner with the Colleges in the effort to bring social justice programming, not only to the student population of the two schools, but jointly, to the community at large,” said Gerald Macaluso, principal of DeSales to the Finger Lakes Times.
Organizers report that the grant to DeSales was the overwhelming favorite and most widely approved grant since the Row for Community was first started. The grant will help pay for speakers to come to DeSales, as well as other costs, and it will foster an important educational aspect through the Institute for Peace and Justice. William Smith rowing team member Emily Shelden’13 had a similar program at her high school and she was one of the biggest advocates for DeSales to receive the grant.
Head coach of the William Smith rowing team, Sandra Chu, who is responsible as one of the primary organizers of the Row for Community, agrees. “I love this program because it allows us as a team to give back. It feels good to be responsible for helping the community that we are a part of.”
Since its inception in 2003, the Row for Community event has raised more than $33,000 for a variety of organizations in Geneva.