By Cary Shuman
Row Row Row in Revere is back and it will be better than ever, says event coordinator Stacey Livote.
The charity event once attracted hundreds of participants and spectators in its hey day in the 1970s and 1980s and the annual canoe race from Nahant Beach to Revere Beach was the highlight of the summer.
Livote, a Revere schoolteacher, and Row Row Row committee members Victor Molle, owner of the Marina Restaurant and Bar at the Wharf, Jay Bolton, vice commodore of the Point of Pines Yacht Club, and Jill Simmons talked about the revival of the event in a group interview Monday at the Marina.
“It’s Our Race For Autism Awareness,” said Livote, noting the important cause that the proceeds will support. “Our goal is to raise at least $50,000 and the money raised will help to support families that have children affected by autism and cannot afford some of the therapies that are not covered by insurance.”
Row Row Row in Revere will be held on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017 with a pre-event continental breakfast at the Point of Pines Yacht Club (POPYC) and opening ceremonies at 7:15 a.m. Mayor Brian Arrigo and State Rep. RoseLee Vincent will be a part of the festivities. Bolton said there will be live music and giveaways at the yacht club.
Canoers and kayakers will travel the two-mile course from the POPYC down the Pines River and hook around the Dizzy Bridge and then back to the POPYC. The post-race celebration and awards ceremony will be held at the Marina Restaurant.
Teams will consist of two rowers and there are nine age divisions for men, women’s and coed teams. The winning teams in each division will receive the coveted “oars” of excellence in recognition of their prowess on the waters of Revere. Former Seacoast Academy principal Tom Misci will compete in the 65-and-over division.
The original Row Row Row race, led by well-known Revere resident Mary Jones, Dan Maguire, and others, benefited Spina Bifida. Molle said the Mulcahy brothers, Bobby and Joey, were perennial winners in the race.
“Row Row Row in Revere will be similar to the original race but for a different charity,” said Livote. “Someone inspired me to bring back the race. Autism is a very prevalent disorder that is affecting thousands of kids in this area.”
Livote said people are welcomed to register for the race at the Marina at the Wharf through Sunday, Aug. 6. The registration fee is $125 per participant, $250 per team.
“We have about 25 teams signed up so far,” said Livote, who thanked Mary Jones for her support of the event. “Mary has been a great supporter and valuable resource. She was glad to hear that it was coming back and someone was taking it over. For any questions we’ve had, she’s been very accessible.”
The Marina at the Wharf had been the headquarters for the Pines River Fish, an annual fishing tournament that was held for 10 years but ended three years ago.
“We’re excited about Row Row Row,” said Molle. “We’re all looking forward to it.”
“It’s a great way to bring the community together,” said Livote. “It’s something people still talk about and they’re excited about it.”