McQuaid Jesuit Crew to row from Buffalo to Albany to support Rochester homeless

By on June 17, 2019

For the eighth consecutive year the McQuaid Jesuit Row for Hope team will row 340 miles of the New York Erie Canal. The eight-day trip begins in Buffalo on the morning of Tuesday, June 25 and finishes when the team reaches the Hudson River near Albany on July 2. 

The purpose of the annual event is to raise money and awareness for a charitable organization that the team selects. The 2019 Row for Hope team is supporting the House of Mercy Homeless Shelter and Advocacy Center. The House of Mercy and their founder, Sister Grace Miller, are dedicated to serving and advocating for Rochester’s homeless. They provide food, shelter, clothing and advocacy 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The House of Mercy never closes its doors on people in need and serves more than 4,000 people a month.

Over the past seven years, McQuaid Crew rowers have raised over $200,000 for JDRF, the American Cancer Society, Kelly for Kids, Holy Childhood and Camp Good Days. Row for Hope teams have been recognized with the Outstanding Youth Fundraising Award and the Camp Good Days’ Teddi Award.

The boys row about 10 hours each day, breaking only for lunch and to camp each night. These dedicated athletes row through all weather conditions. The rowing shell is just 21 inches wide and the tiny seats are not made for sitting on for days at a time. Exhaustion, blisters and sunburn are common experiences on the row. “It sounds miserable, but we stay positive by keeping the music playing, talking and singing,” said Gage Gardinier who is participating in his second 2018 Row for Hope.

The mission of Row for Hope exemplifies the core values of McQuaid Jesuit: a spirit of empathy, service with and for others, and a call to leadership. The rowers embrace the opportunity to use their love of rowing to positively impact others. Bryan Sanchez, who also took part in the 2018 row, says, “It is not an easy trip, but it is worth the effort to make a difference for the people in our community that need our help and support.”

For details on how to support their mission and to follow the journey, visit www.rowforhope.net.

Provided information and photo

The eleven members of the 2019 Row for Hope team with Sister Grace of the House of Mercy. From left: Levi Shkurko ’20, Nicholas Hann ’20, Will Creighton ’21, Josh Grams ’22, Nic Bailey ’22, Miles Stratton ’20, Bryan Sanchez ’20, Cooper Van Maaren ’21, Steven Shadders ’20, Gage Gardinier ’20, Gabe Smith ’22.

The eleven members of the 2019 Row for Hope team with Sister Grace of the House of Mercy. From left: Levi Shkurko ’20, Nicholas Hann ’20, Will Creighton ’21, Josh Grams ’22, Nic Bailey ’22, Miles Stratton ’20, Bryan Sanchez ’20, Cooper Van Maaren ’21, Steven Shadders ’20, Gage Gardinier ’20, Gabe Smith ’22.