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pinion Letter to the Editor: Rowing Park More Than Rowing


Three weeks ago, two wounded military veterans from Operation Second Chance, both amputees, visited Sarasota as guests of the Sheriff's Department. They came here as part of a program that helps wounded veterans transition after having experienced severe physical trauma. While here, they had the opportunity to tour the Nathan Benderson Park and learn about the real possibility of an adaptive rowing program for people with special needs. They were extremely excited to see that such a program could become a reality.

Two days later, I had the privilege to escort these young men to their departure gate at the local airport. As they walked on their metal legs through the concourse,  they received ovations from every gate we passed. Their comments about the great community we live in and enthusiasm at the possibility of returning to row were very sincere. 

As I was leaving, things suddenly became very clear to me about the tremendous positive effect the rowing park could have on more than just elite athletes. An adaptive rowing program will help make the park an incredible community asset. The opportunity to be part of something much bigger than ourselves should not be passed up. Giving hope back to people who have to overcome physical challenges every day makes all of our efforts to see this project completed necessary and worthwhile.  It is truly a once in a life time opportunity to do the right thing and make dreams come true.

John Krotec


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