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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Mental Health, Mental Health Treatment, Sports, Substance Abuse Dependency, Prevention & Treatment

Mission: To help facilitate growth and recovering for disabled Veterans through recreational rehabilitation adaptive rowing & kayaking.

Results: Created the 1st National Blind Veterans' Indoor Rowing Program in 2014. Created the 1st National Blind Veterans' Rowing Team in Connecticut that went out on open water in 2015. Coached the oldest program Veteran at age 101 to complete a World Record Indoor Rowing for 1000 meter event in 2016.

Target demographics: Severely disabled and at-risk Veterans

Direct beneficiaries per year: programs were accessable to over 1200 Veterans

Geographic areas served: We provide recreational rehabiliation adaptive rowing & kayaking in over 20-locations in 9-States

Programs: Recreational rehabilitation; adaptive rowing & kayaking; Learn to Row or paddle; and elite programing which is both indoor and outdoor-year round.

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

"The resident-members of the Queens City Rowers at The Landing of Poughkeepsie are "driven" - pun intended- for personal achievement as their endurance, flexibility and strength increases," says volunteer coach Richard Humphrey of the Hudson River Rowing Association. It is matched only by their anticipation of the next scheduled practice. The three weekly rowing sessions are supplemented by balance and strengthening programs on alternating days. The Queen City Rowers are experiencing that to which any seasoned rower can attest: teamwork, discipline and trust within their club and, by extension, their community.
After 2 months on the team one of the 88 year old female members reported that her doctor was astounded by how quickly her blood pressure had lowered. She said, "she has more energy now than before she started."
Practice is at 10 am three mornings a week. We have Paul Varszegi, the Founder of U.S. Veterans' Rowing & Kayaking coaching on Tuesdays. Coach Richard Humphrey of the Hudson River Rowing Association and his volunteer members help out on Saturdays. "My team, says Karen Cornell-Froehner Director of Engaged Life at The Landing of Poughkeepsie, is waiting patiently starting at 9:30am for my staff on Thursdays to start at 10. They cannot wait to get on the ergs to see how well they are doing compared to the previous practice. They laugh, joke and encourage each other to do their best. What more do you want from a team. They are looking forward to getting on the water in a few months. Their goal is to be on the Hudson River by August!"

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I support the US Veterans Rowing & Kayaking Foundation for not only improving my physical conditioning and also my mental status and attitude. As a doctor who practiced medicine for over 50 years, I was well aware of increasing difficulty in performing simple and everyday movements. After seeking medical advice, I was advised to adopt a disciplined course of physical exercise to maintain my healthy cardiac status. Rowing is an absolute plus in initiating the program. Other benefits include competition with other rowers in various age groups. I remember vividly competing in Easton, CT to compete with other rowers in many age levels. I was seated next to a rower in excellent physical shape -- 40 years my junior! Gender difference did not detract from women competing at the same level. This was a further advantage because men and women can compete at the same level. I would not have had this experience without the stress placed on exercise and health at Atria Darien, where I live. Competing at this same level would not have been possible.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was very thankful to get the chance to participate in the US Veterans & Kayaking program here at Atria Darien because rowing is not offered at every senior living community. Rowing has strengthened my legs which has been great for me since I'm 94! I have been athletic my whole life - golf, horseback riding, tennis - pretty much everything. Rowing weekly with the coaches and the other residents has given me purpose and a feeling of connection and it encourages me to continue each week. This and the other exercise that I participate in helps me stay mobile and fit.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband was a veteran and a company commander of the 101st Airborne Division. I feel strongly about the Veterans Rowing program here at Atria Darien. He would be so proud of me for participating since I had never rowed before. Now that I row weekly in the program with wonderful coaches who instruct us in the proper procedures and form, I am really enthused about the program. The team here has even participated in the CT Indoor Rowing competition recently and I received a first place medal in my age category! Atria Darien has brought this outstanding program to us and we couldn't be more proud to support the efforts of US Veterans, Rowing & Kayaking.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This rowing program has been a great addition for my senior residents at Atria Rye Brook. They have been so accommodating and truly enhanced their quality of life. Through this program we have had three residents set world records and it was covered by news 12! I highly recommend them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with Veterans Rowing and Kayaking for a few years and I have to say that it's a pretty incredible organization. I'm a high-school rower and over time, I have been able to coach and help several men and women far older than me and help to provide them with both physical and psychological help. The Organization has done wonders for hundred if not thousands of veterans and truly, it's been an honor to work with them for the last couple of years.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From time to time in the past two years, I have helped work with veterans and the elderly with Veterans Rowing and Kayaking. As a lightweight rower myself, it is great to see that people of older age will still row and gain from its benefits. I really enjoy working in an activity that I love and Veterans Rowing and Kayaking allows me to spread the culture of rowing. Working with them has been a pleasant experience and I look forward to continue to be involved.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was able to meet Paul the director of U.S. Veterans Rowing and Kayaking on a trip to Connecticut. After talking Paul was able to learn that I started a gym In San Antonio, Texas to help veterans struggling with life after service. We use the Erg to help train the veterans and gym members. Since that last meeting I have been able able to compete at the San Antonio Valor Games, Dallas SWEAT, and Boston CRASH Bs, this all paid for by VRK. They have been a positive influence on my life and have helped propel a potential career and paid training program in the water in Austin, Texas.

Jason108

Client Served

Rating: 5

A few months back I reached out to Paul with VRK, after a friend had told me about the physical and mental benefits they had experienced through the sport of rowing. Paul and I talked a few times over the phone and discussed my goals, and I expressed interest in one day competing in some indoor rowing competitions, and he was so encouraging. He knew that I was an avid cyclist who likes to push my limits and go harder and longer distances each time I ride, and he acknowledged that strength and saw how it would help me to get the most out of rowing as well.

I received my loaner rowing machine at the end of February and absolutely love the workouts and I can already feel the benefits of rowing. Paul’s encouragement and Veterans’ Rowing & Kayaking’s willingness to accept me with open arms has been motivating and moving. They are an absolutely amazing organization and group of people! I cannot wait to eventually compete while wearing the VRK colors!!! It is great to be a part of a team again!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at this organization to help some disabled Veterans from RI race at the 2017 CRASH-B sprints in Boston MA. I had a lot of fun doing this, meeting a diverse group of veterans and volunteers. It was an honor and a privilege to be part of such a dedicated organization and I know I will be volunteering with this organization for many more hours in the future. I encourage any perspective volunteers interested in helping our nation's veterans achieve their personal goals to consider joining up with Veterans Rowing and Kayaking inc.