Annual Water Sports Festival
Rockaway Beach Community Hosts Wounded Warriors for the 10th Annual Adaptive Water Sports Festival While Still Recovering from Superstorm Sandy
Despite being hard-hit by Superstorm Sandy (October 29, 2012), the Queens communities of Rockaway and Breezy Point show their continued support of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) by hosting the tenth-annual Adaptive Water Sports Festival.
As the area continues to rebuild, its residents band together to show ongoing support in the backing of the WWP mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. The neighborhood suffered a devastating fire and flooding during Superstorm Sandy. While most of the debris has been cleared, several residents are still working to rebuild. Despite the devastation to the community brought on by the storm, the event lives on with thanks to a massive effort by Fire Department of New York (FDNY), and groups like Legends in Valor and a host of volunteers.
“It speaks volumes to the resolve of this community and the character of its residents to move on with this event in support of our mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors, while they still rebuild from Superstorm Sandy,” said Al Giordano, deputy executive director, Wounded Warrior Project. “We are honored to return to Rockaway for an event that is one of the highlights of the year to provide a wonderful weekend for these warriors and hopefully aid not only in the recovery of the warriors in attendance, but this proud community, as well.”
During the festival weekend, over 40 Wounded Warriors will have the opportunity to learn adaptive waterskiing, surfing, Stand Up Paddle (SUP) and other water sports throughout the five-day event hosted at Riis Landing (Jacob Riis Park – Rockaway Beach Blvd.), and Beach 68th Street, Rockaway Beach. A parade on Wednesday, July 9, kicks off the weekend, as WWP Alumni are escorted through streets lined with supporters from Rescue 5 Fire Station in Staten Island and over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, before concluding at a private event host by the Belle Harbor Yacht Club.
The Rockaway community was one of the hardest hit by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and ravaged again by the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 just two months later. Yet, the area proved resilient and responded with a surge of empathy, and charitable endeavors.
About Wounded Warrior Project®
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower wounded warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.