Over the last 20+ years, rowing in Sarasota has evolved from one man's passion, into a shared experience of thousands of rowers and their proud families. Coach Peter de Manio is no longer with us, but his vision of what the sport could become, and his dedication to that vision live on in numerous fond memories, championship trophies, valuable scholarships and the hard work of current generation of rowers and coaching staff. Indeed, the sport's has come a long way from its humble beginnings in Peter's backyard, wonderfully exemplified by thriving legacy rowing programs (2 in Sarasota and 1 in Venice and Palmetto), over a thousand alumni, in addition to the new world-class rowing course at the Benderson Park.
This fundraiser was set up in order to help preserve the memory of Coach Peter. There is a reason every society spends a great deal of time and effort to study and preserve the memory of men and women who have made the world a better place. In part because we owe it to ourselves to understand our shared past, and in part because by celebrating heroes of the past, we encourage the budding heroes of the future to form and follow their own dreams to the benefit of us all.
An appropriate remembrance of the man who brought rowing to Sarasota would be to link his name with the new rowing course at the Benderson Park. The lake or the boathouse, named after Peter would commemorate his contribution for the ages. In order to do this, however, we first need to create a visible platform from which we can communicate to the community at large the magnitude of his contribution, as the architect of the foundation on which the sport thrives today.
For this purpose, we are accepting donations for a Coach Peter de Manio website, which will tell the story of rowing in Sarasota, with a timeline, photos, videos, and testimonials of rowers and coaches who have been a part of the journey. The website will feature all legacy crews, and former as well as current rowers and coaches. It will celebrate the sport, as well as the man who allowed the rest of us to carry on in his footsteps.
We hope to raise around $9,000, which is how much it costs to create a quality website, (i.e. an online library of rowing in Sarasota). To put it in perspective, that is basically less than it costs to buy a new single shell (1x) these days. So please, make a contribution and help preserve the memory of Coach Peter and the history of rowing in Sarasota, our history.