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Seven years of growth and success is not accomplished without help. Starting with the initial gift and encouragement of Mary Ann Garcia our fleet grew through the generosity of the Goldsmith/Greenfield Foundation, The Selby Foundation, The Venice Foundation, the Van Pelt family, the Letschert family, the de Guia family, Peter and Betsy de Manio, and the attorneys of the Sarasota County Bar Association. Strong financial support has been provided by the Knox Family Foundation, Columbia HCA, Piero Rivolta, Howard Payne, The Evelyn Sadlier Jones Foundation, Howell Construction, Art Ferguson, and Jane Bancroft Cook. Hands on work on the clubhouse in the way of maintenance and needed repairs and improvements were generously provided by Stan Williams, Joe White, Chuck Berster, Gene Henley, David Semian, the Biegel family, the Eatman family, the Loiko family, the Marot family, the Mudgett family and many others. Stan Williams, Steve Gray, Joe White, Jack Oslinsky, Gene Henley all contributed countless hours driving our boats to regattas in Boston, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, San Diego, Atlanta and all over the state of Florida. Kevin O’Neil and David Shoemaker were very active in fund raising and giving financial support to the club.

In the beginning when we couldn’t find a home, Michael Butler and Christine Starker opened up their home to us and provided access to the ICW.

When we were seeking recognition in the schools, Riverview Principal Art Williams acknowledged our accomplishments at the Riverview graduation in 1993. When we needed a sponsor to get rowing started in the schools, it was John Cooper, Kevin Flynn and Earle Jones of Riverview who stepped forward. Carol Knoblick did a great job recruiting outstanding girl athletes who went on to establish a solid foundation for women’s rowing in Sarasota.

The fruits of all this labor can be seen in the outstanding achievements of the student athletes who have passed through our program and the colleges and universities to which they have gained admission. Here is a sampling of what a few of the class of ’98 have accomplished and what they have had to say about their experience with Peter de Manio and the program. Andy Berster and Chris Liwski received scholarships to row at Syracuse. Trudo Letschert summed up his rowing experience before heading for the Boston University Crew with, “I owe a lot to crew and to Peter, and don’t know what I would be doing if I hadn’t found crew.” Lacy Doolin heading for the University of Washington to cox for the Huskies borrowed a line from the US Army when she said, “We do more before 8:00 a.m. than most people do all day.” Kristen Wheat expressed her feelings about crew and Peter, saying, “It has given me a lifetime of memories and friends. It has taught me responsibility, improved me physically, definitely improved my concentration in classes and schoolwork and I have learned a very beautiful sport which I can do the rest of my life. Peter cares about the rowers and their futures. He is not only interested in how they perform on the water, but he wants them to aim for the best colleges.”

To sum it all up, it’s wonderful how lucky you can be when you work hard. Thank all of those people who have believed in us and helped to make it all possible.

This year’s highlight was Adam Connelly, Zac Selskey, Jon Magharan, Jeremy Taylor and Kristin Olson winning the State Championship in the Men’s Lightweight Four. They followed this up with a very close second place finish to Father Judge at the Scholastic Rowing Association Championship in Cherry Hill, NJ.


Riverview's lightweight four of Adam Connelly, Zac Selsky, Kristin Olson, Jon Magharan, Jeremy Taylor, Florida Scholastic Rowing Association Championships.

1997 - 1998

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