By Juliana LoBiondo (“Mrs. LO”) – Anthony and I believe that service to the community is as important as earning a living in the community. We are both born and bred in the Hudson Valley; Anthony is a lifelong Newburgh resident, Mrs. Lo is from Beacon, NY. We own a home in Newburgh, the same house we’ve been in since we married in 1998, and we are raising two amazing boys, ages 12 and 9, who attend school here in Newburgh, and will be going on to NFA High School one day.
Newburgh, NY – on January 8, 2014, the Newburgh Rowing Club’s scholarship-based inclusion rowing program, the “Student Ambassador Program,” officially became a USRowing “America Rows” Affiliate program, said Juliana LoBiondo, Team Mom for the Newburgh Rowing Club and Director of the Student Ambassador Program, which will now be known as “America Rows Newburgh.”
“America Rows” was launched by USRowing in 2010. USRowing is the national governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States, serving to promote the sport on all levels of competition, including the selection and training of those who represent the United States at the international level. “ ‘America Rows’ is a nationwide diversity and inclusion initiative, aimed at increasing awareness of rowing and introducing the sport to a diverse group of Americans. ‘America Rows’ provides support, both organizationally and financially, to existing and planned programs across the country,” said Richard Butler, USRowing Inclusion Manager.
“We are delighted to receive this recognition and support from America Rows,” said Coach Ed Kennedy, Programs Director of the Newburgh Rowing Club. “We have been working to make Newburgh Rowing as inclusive as possible since its inception 22 years ago. To have this affiliation with USRowing’s ‘America Rows’ program is just tremendous.”
America Rows Newburgh joins the company of approximately 35 other rowing clubs in the nation, a number which will be expanding over time, said Mr. Butler.
One of the things that makes the America Rows Newburgh program unique is the fact that the Program gets kids in the Pool and teaches water confidence, said LoBiondo.
“This affiliation with America Rows is nothing short of a dream come true,” said Team Mom LoBiondo. “The Student Ambassador Program has been made possible by continued grants from the Hudson River Improvement Fund. Through the receipt of grants, we have been able to offer membership in the Newburgh Rowing Club, and participation in training and competitions, free of charge to our Student Ambassadors.”
“We basically now have the support of the national governing body of rowing for our kids,” said LoBiondo. “This means financial support, such as waiver of fees for USRowing membership and national meet entry fees for our Student Ambassadors. We also can say we are part of a national organization, and a community of inclusion. In the bigger picture, we now have boundless opportunities for our Student Ambassadors. For instance, there will be an America Rows Regatta this spring, which “America Rows Newburgh” has been invited to. Our Student Ambassadors will be able to compete in this Regatta and, instead of being the only Mexican-American rowers, or among the few African-American rowers, we will be surrounded by a completely diverse group of youth rowers. This is an incredible culmination of three years of hard work for me and 22 years of hard work for Coach Kennedy, and we are only going to build on it from here. Look for ‘America Rows Newburgh’ rowers to make some special headlines in the years to come.”
“Boathouses across America continue to be affluent, upper middle class and white,” said Mr. Butler. “If we want the United States to be more competitive on the world stage, we are going to need to do what many major American corporations figured out 20 years ago – become more diverse and inclusive. We welcome America Rows Newburgh to the program.”
For more information about America Rows Newburgh, contact Coach Ed Kennedy at (845) 541-2313 or America Rows Newburgh Director Juliana LoBiondo at email@example.com, or visit their website, www.newburghrowclub.org.
I am proud to be the Team Mom for Newburgh Rowing, which includes the NFA Varsity Crew Team, the Newburgh Rowing Club, and the San Miguel Academy Crew Team. The NFA Varsity Crew Team deserves more than just a passing mention. In March 2012, after 22 years as a team, the varsity crew team, along with two other varsity teams were eliminated, due to sweeping budget cuts mandated by the newly enacted NYS Tax Cap. After hearing from the 72 amazing varsity athletes, the Newburgh Board of Education voted unanimously to reinstate the Crew Team, the only varsity team to be reinstated, on the condition that we fund ourselves. We, the parents and coaches, established a 501 (c )(3 ) to raise funds. For 5 months, we went out and sold raffle tickets, held fundraisers big and small, and garnered the support of the community. Thanks to our wonderful Newburgh community, the rowers raised over $55,000.00 to reimburse the School District for our expenses and became the only 100% community funded varsity team in the history of NFA.
Along with the coaches of the Newburgh Rowing Club, a “Learn to Row” club, Mrs. Lo also helped establish the Student Ambassador Program and the San Miguel Academy Crew Team. After successfully securing two grants, for over $21,000.00, this program is now in its second year. We take children ages 10 – 17 from the City of Newburgh who are underserved, teach them to swim, teach them the otherwise “elite” sport of rowing, and make them a part of the family that is Newburgh Rowing. Last winter, we taught 21 children, who were initially afraid of the shallow end of the pool, to pass the US Rowing Swim Test, one of the most stringent swimming tests out there, but one which must be passed in order to row on open water. We now having our Student Ambassadors rowing at an incredibly competitive level, taking home medals from competitions where rowers come from around the nation to compete.
Mrs. Lo also runs the Facebook page for Newburgh Rowing. Follow us at www.Facebook.com/MrsLoBiondo
Since the Newburgh community has given so much to us, we the Crew Team are committed to giving back. As Team Mom, I make sure that happens. We spent Christmas Eve Day 2012 delivering presents to the needy in the City of Newburgh for Families 4 Families. We also wrapped presents and LoBiondo Law donated presents. We support the Newburgh Jewish Community Center’s “School’s Out” programs. We established the “Crew Team’s First Annual Superbowl of Giving.” On SuperBowl Sunday, you will find the Crew Team at the Shop Rite in Newburgh, in uniform, collecting non-perishables for donation to the Newburgh Salvation Army Food Pantry.
One of the things I am most proud of, is helping to establish Newburgh Rowing’s Scholarship Program. We established two scholarships for high school rowers: the Cpl. Joseph Tremblay Memorial Scholarship is given to a male high school senior and rower who is going to college; the Lt. Abby Mennerich Honorary Scholarship is given to a female high school senior and rower who is going to college. Joey Tremblay rowed for Coach Kennedy on the NFA Varsity Crew Team and the rowing club for 5 years, then joined the U.S. Marines. He gave his life for his county on April 27, 2005, when he was killed by an I.E.D. while serving in Iraq. His father, Larry Tremblay, built the US Marine Tribute Bike, which he brings to many of our fundraisers. Abby Mennerich, formerly on the NFA Crew Team, and who is currently serving stateside but had been deployed to the Middle East, was the first female from NFA to attend the US Naval Academy and row all 4 years for their prestigious Naval Academy Crew Team.
The scholarships are given out at the Corsairs Cup Awards Dinner, which Mrs. Lo and other parents and coaches also founded. Last year, the Corsairs Cup was given to Senator Bill Larkin, for the many grants he procured for the Crew Team and the Boathouse. Mr. Tremblay presented the Cpl. Tremblay Scholarship to Casey Baker, who was accepted into and will be attending the Culinary Institute of America. Mrs. Mennerich, Abby’s mom, presented the Lt. Mennerich Scholarship to Natasha Vega, who is attending Penn State University, where she is on the Penn State Crew Team.
We are also huge fans of the NFA Varsity Swim and Dive Teams, as many of our rowers are also on the swim team. We try to go out and support them at as many home meets as we can.
While Mrs. Lo gets to “take the spotlight,” so to speak, and writes all the press releases, Anthony works just as hard behind the scenes. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Newburgh Rowing Club. He also is a member of the Town of Newburgh Republican Committee, where he was formerly the Treasurer and has served that Committee at the County level as well.
We are also committed to giving back to the community as lawyers. We regularly hold Free Legal clinics at our office. On Saturday, February 16, 2013, we will be holding a free NYS Uncontested Divorce clinic, where we will give out the NYS Uncontested Divorce Packet and instruct the attendees on how to fill out and file the paperwork themselves. We ask, but do not require, that the attendees make a donation to the Newburgh Rowing High School Scholarship program.
For more on all the work we do in the community, follow our Community Page on Facebook, at www.Facebook.com/LoBiondoLaw
Here are some helpful links to Community and Legal Resources:
National Council for Aging Care’s guide on Military Veteran Benefit Options
Newburgh Rowing Club: “Teaching the Sport of Rowing to All”
New York State Bar Association
Dutchess County Bar Association
Orange County Bar Association
Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation
Mental Health Association of Dutchess County
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
New York State Unified Court System
Legal Services of the Hudson Valley
National Veterans Legal Services Program
Hudson Valley Collaborative Divorce
American Arbitration Association
The Law Engine
American Bar Association
NYS Attorney General
Cornell’s Legal Information Institute
The Library of Congress’ Thomas Locator Service
Department of State
The American Bankruptcy Institute
Search the Net for Legal Information
The New York Law Journal
Social Security Administration