Education / Environment

Boatbuilders throw a party

Qingqing Chen

Program participants Freddy Moreira, Roberto Heredia, Corey Joseph, Carlos Dyan, Kavon Wilson and Abram Johnson carry one of three new boats to the river.

Rocking the Boat celebrates new dory and two canoes

Rocking the Boat held a boat launching bash at its Edgewater Road campus on Dec.13 to celebrate the completion of its three newest additions—a 12-foot semi-dory and two 14-foot fiddlehead canoes.

Local students built the boats over the last three months, bringing the number of boats the organization has launched to 44 since opening its doors in 1999.

The semi-dory was commissioned by local businessman Bill Endico, owner of Snow Fresh Foods, who said he plans to use the new boat to teach his grandchildren to row. Endico wandered onto Rocking the Boat’s campus by chance last year and was so impressed with what he saw that he commissioned the project on the spot.

One of the canoes was commissioned in lieu of a wedding ring by a young man who plans to propose to his girlfriend, a boat enthusiast.

The other will be auctioned at Rocking the Boat’s Whitehall Award fundraiser in the spring.

Janet Williams and her instructor, Edmauel Roman, paint a name on one of the new boats.

High school students who helped construct the boats helped christen them by taking them down to the Bronx River from Rocking the Boat’s campus next to Hunts Point Riverside Park. But they broke with the usual tradition of rowing the new vessels, given the freezing temperatures and frigid water. Instead, they made sure the boats could float before bringing them back indoors.

Musical group Dende & Band heated up the party with Afro-Brazilian music.

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