Niskayuna Rowing to hold Restaurant Row fundraiser Thursday


NISKAYUNA — Niskayuna Rowing will hold a Restaurant Row fundraiser on Thursday to help fund a future rowing scholarship.

Three area restaurants will be donating 15% of their profits during different two-hour time periods during the day. The proceeds will help to make the sport more financially accessible.

“My intent is to do it every year,” fundraising coordinator Joni Bonilla said. “So, this is our first annual Restaurant Row fundraiser.”

On Thursday, Gershon’s Deli on Union Street will be donating 15% of its profits from 10 a.m. to noon. Just a short distance down Union Street, Homestyle Pizza will be donating between 1 and 3 p.m., while Uncle Rico’s on Nott Street will be donating 15% of its profits from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by Blue Ribbon Diner, Bonilla said.

Bonilla said she would love to raise $1,000 through Thursday’s fundraiser. While she called her goal “a little ambitious,” she said the money raised will help to fund future scholarships for rowers.

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Bonilla is new to her role. She explained the board is now playing catch up after COVID.

“My personal goal, when I agreed to do this for the board, was just to make rowing more accessible,” Bonilla said.

Rowing is a year-round sport, Bonilla explained. She said it helps people to get outside, spend time in nature as well as being both a competitive and individual sport.

“Practices don’t stop when we can’t go out on the river, however,  . . . it’s about $2,600 just to join the Rowing Association,” Bonilla said. “That doesn’t include equipment and other fees that come up.”

Bonilla’s big goal for the year is to raise enough money to have a scholarship for someone to be able to participate in rowing and to help lower the costs associated with rowing in general.

“The team made it through COVID. The team has people who can pay the fees now, but it’s like how can we make it more inclusive?” Bonilla said.

A lot of parents and other children do not realize rowing is an option, Bonilla said. She believes part of the problem comes from the costs associated with rowing. She hopes the money raised to fund a scholarship would be able to help someone participate in rowing who would not be able to otherwise.

“There’s just no reason it shouldn’t be more inclusive,” Bonilla said.

Bonilla hopes the Restaurant Row fundraiser will also help the community to find out about Niskayuna Rowing.

More: All NewsEverything Niskayuna


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