Gay + Lesbian Rowing Federation Helps Launch the NY Pride Rowing Association
The Gay + Lesbian Rowing Federation (GLRF) helped local organizers launch and promote the New York Pride Rowing Association at the annual New York Pride Festival in Lower Manhattan Sunday, June 27th. Working out of the GLRF booth at the Festival, local rowers handed out brochures, took email lists, and demonstrated the sport on a rowing machine to interest both current and former rowers as well as those new to the sport.
According to organizers, New York Pride Rowing Association will be a community rowing club serving New York’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community and their friends and supporters. Prior to its launch, the organization secured a berth as one of the first official affiliates for New York City’s newly delivered Peter Jay Sharp floating boathouse. Learn to row classes are already underway and the first crews of the new club will hit the water on Tuesday evening, July 6th.
Located on the Harlem River in northeast Manhattan, the boathouse is sponsored by the New York Restoration Project, spearheaded by performer and community activist Bette Midler. The goal of the Project is to restore, develop and revitalize parks, community gardens and open space in some of New York City’s most neglected neighborhoods. The boathouse will host both clubs and rowing programs, including juniors, collegiate, and masters (New York Pride Rowing, the Sharp Rowing Club, and Manhattan College are among the first affiliates). In return, their boathouse dues will help fund an outreach program targeting local community youth.
The idea for a gay rowing club came about through the efforts of Vincenzo Paparo, Chairman and Thomas P. Curry, Executive Director of the New York Rowing Association. Robert Bourguignon of the law firm Buchanan Ingersoll PC, acted as corporate counsel to New York Pride. The firm provides legal services to non-traditional families and unmarried couples. As part of its commitment to diversity and as a community service, the law firm decided to foster and support the creation of a New York City-based gay rowing club. Mr. Paparo, also a partner with the law firm Proskauer Rose, indicated that it was the public visibility of out gay and lesbian rowers, crews, and clubs around the nation that provided the inspiration for the endeavor.
The Gay + Lesbian Rowing Federation is a worldwide umbrella organization for gay and lesbian rowers, promoting and supporting rowing in the gay and lesbian community with Web-based resources and information and serving as a liaison both within the community and with the larger international rowing world.
For information on the New York Pride Rowing Association, visit their temporary website at http://www.GLRF.info/CLUBS/USA and look for New York City.