“We always talk about giving back,” said Steve Panzik, a coach and executive director of Friends of Port Rowing. “As a coach, you want your athletes to learn life skills, ethics, teamwork and sportsmanship, and to extend a helping hand to teammates and opponents alike when they are down. How the Long Beach student-athletes have come together with their community to rebuild is inspiring. We hope that the money we raised will help them come back better than ever.”
“We are so proud of our student-athletes who are members of the crew team,” added Joannon. “They took the initiative to step up to help fellow students from another school in their time of need. It is inspiring to see athletes from different shores reaching out to help one another.”
“We congratulate our team for this amazing accomplishment,” said Sloan. “Most of the students who participated in the ergathon are Port Washington students, and therefore a proud reflection of our schools.”
The Long Beach School District hosted a special reception to thank the Friends of Port Rowing for their generous donation. Accompanying student representatives of the rowing team were Joannon, Sloan, Friends of Port Rowing board member Ted Rosenthal, boys varsity rowing coach Darren Gary, and head girls varsity rowing coach Briana Pittman. Long Beach High School trumpeter Jesse Klirsfeld opened the ceremony with a heartfelt rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Long Beach student-athlete Adam Salvadori welcomed the rowing team and thanked them for their support. Epstein, Long Beach Superintendent David Weiss and Long Beach Board of Education Vice President Darlene Tangney also expressed their gratitude.
“We’ve received many donations over the last few months,” said Epstein, “but the ones that mean so much to us are the ones that come from other students. We admire you for the work you do to help others.”
“I extend our thanks to you for choosing Long Beach as the recipient of your services,” added Weiss. “For us, this recovery has been a marathon event. Celebrating moments like this have helped us move toward normalcy again. The efforts you have made on our behalf will help our athletes keep pushing to overcome the many obstacles they still face.”