America Rows and Swims Newburgh Receives $12,500.00 Grant from HRIF, has Successful Opening Weekend

Newburgh, NY – America Rows and Swims Newburgh (“ARSN”) has received a $12,500.00 grant from the Hudson River Improvement Foundation, which will allow it to continue its rowing scholarship program and free learn to swim clinic for another year, said Juliana LoBiondo, Founder and Director of America Rows and Swims Newburgh. Over the past weekend, Student Ambassadors from the Newburgh Rowing Club, funded by ARSN, competed at the Ironman Erg Classic in NJ, bringing home gold and bronze; and ARSN held its opening day for the free Learn to Swim Clinic at the Union Avenue Community Fitness Center, said LoBiondo.

“We are very thankful to the Hudson River Improvement Foundation, which has funded us every year for 5 years in a row now.” In 1985, the Hudson River Foundation received $1.5 million from the State of New York to establish the Hudson River Improvement Fund from monies originally paid to New York to settle litigation concerning the out-of-state export of Hudson River water by oil tankers. Through the combined efforts of Hudson River environmental organizations, including Scenic Hudson, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association (now Riverkeeper) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Improvement Fund was created to support projects that promote the enhancement of public use and enjoyment of the natural, scenic and cultural resources of the Hudson River and its shores – with an emphasis on physical projects that require capital construction, development or improvement.

America Rows and Swims Newburgh had a very successful opening weekend, said LoBiondo. On January 30th, several rowers who row for the Newburgh Rowing Club on scholarships provided by ARSN traveled to the Ironman Erg Classic at Don Bosco Prep, in Ramsey NJ, to compete in an indoor rowing meet with almost 400 other athletes, said LoBiondo. Shakwan Moody, a senior at NFA High School, took the gold medal in the Men’s Open event and Caridad Irizarry, a 6th grader at Nora Cronin Presentation Academy, took a bronze medal in the 7th grade girls event. “I am very proud of all of the athletes, these indoor competitions can be grueling,” said LoBiondo. “Citlaly Garcia, an 8th grader at Nora Cronin, also rowed a great event in the 8th grade girls meet, taking 4th place out of 14 rowers, and was only 10 seconds off of 3rd place. Don Bosco Prep ran a beautifully organized regatta.”

The following day, January 31st, 40 Student Ambassadors, along with coaches, lifeguards and volunteers, came out to the Union Avenue Community Fitness Center for Opening Day of the free learn to swim clinic. “We are very pleased to be able to offer this award winning free learn to swim clinic again,” said Coach Ed Kennedy, head swim coach. “Swimming is a sport for life, and it is a necessary skill for the sport of rowing — but our real goal is saving lives.”

For more information about America Rows and Swims Newburgh, visit or email For more information about the Newburgh Rowing Club, which has learn to row and competitive programs for youth and adults, visit

Photo 1: On the Podium at the Ironman Erg Classic at Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, NJ (L-R) Juliana LoBiondo, Caridad Irizarry (bronze medal), and Shakwan Moody (gold medalist)
Ironman podium

Photo 2: Group shot at Ironman Erg Classic (L-R) Shakwan Moody, Juliana LoBiondo, Citlaly Garcia, Diana Salazar and Karla Gunera
Ironman - group shot

Photo 3: NRC Girls Modified 4x at the Ironman Erg Classic (L-R) Citlaly Garcia, Karla Gunera, Isabella Kavallaris and Diana Salazar
Ironman - Girls 4x

Photo 4: Group shot of swimmers and swim helpers at the Union Avenue Community Fitness Center on January 31st.
Swim program lanes

Photo 5: 5-year-old Alexander, who attends Sacred Heart School in Newburgh, learns to swim with his older brother, Richard Guerrero, a sophomore at Our Lady of Lourdes High School and competitive rower for the Newburgh Rowing Club