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June 12th, 2013

NRC hosts 2nd annual Corsairs Cup Awards

Keynote Speaker Nan Hayworth, Team Mom Juliana LoBiondo, and Coach Ed Kennedy at the 2nd Annual Corsairs Cup Awards, hosted by the Newburgh Rowing Club in Newburgh, NY. Photo: Stephanie Santiago

NEWBURGH – On June 6, 2013, the Newburgh Rowing Club hosted the Second Annual Corsairs Cup Awards and Scholarships events, said Coach Ed Kennedy, Programs Director of the Newburgh Rowing Club.

David McTamaney, president of the Vietnam Veterans, Hudson Valley Chapter, was Master of Ceremonies for the NRC Boathouse events. The program began with an invocation by Sister Yiliana Hernandez, principal of the Nora Cronin Presentation Academy. The U.S. Marine Color Guard then raised the U.S. Flag on the Newburgh Rowing Cpl. Joseph Tremblay Memorial Flagpole, which is dedicated to the memory of Joseph Tremblay, who rowed for Newburgh Rowing and NFA Crew for 6 years, and gave his life for his country during Operation Iraqui Freedom, on April 27, 2005. The USMC Color Guard then presented the colors.

The NFA Girls Varsity 8+ then walked out the new Newburgh Rowing Club "Resolute" crew shell, which is named for the late Assemblyman Thomas Kirwan. The family of Assemblyman Kirwan, including his widow, Verna, "christened" the crew shell by pouring champagne on it. Town of Newburgh Supervisor Wayne Booth and Coach Ed Kennedy said a few words of remembrance.

"Assemblyman Kirwan was a great man but he was also a very humble man and would not have wanted all this publicity. He secured many grants and funding for the Newburgh Rowing Club but never wanted to take credit. I remember when he got us the funding for the NRC crew shell trailer and I thanked him, he said, ‘Ed, I’m not giving you money, I’m just giving the people of Newburgh back their money, with this grant.’"

Both Coach Kennedy and Lawrence Tremblay, father of Cpl. Joseph Tremblay, presented the Cpl. Tremblay Memorial Scholarship to Frankie Maurice, co-captain of the NFA Varsity Crew Team, 6-year member of the team, and NFA Varsity Swimmer. Maurice will be attending Jacksonville University, Florida, in the Fall. "This young man really reminds me of Joey," said Lawrence Tremblay. "This is a tremendous honor," said Maurice, "I plan to do all I can to make the Tremblay family proud." Maurice will be studying to be a pilot at Jacksonville.

The Lt. Abby Mennerich Honorary Scholarship was presented by Rene Mennerich, mother of Lt. Mennerich, and Natasha Vega, who won last year’s scholarship and who just finished her freshman year Penn State, where she is on the Crew Team. Abby Mennerich was the first female from NFA to attend the U.S. Naval Academy and the only female from NFA to attend be on the Naval Academy Crew Team for 4 years in a row. Lt. Mennerich is currently deployed stateside. Gabby Ramos, a member of the NFA Crew Team, is a member of the National Honor Society. "Gabby is a true athlete-scholar, in the same tradition as Abby Mennerich, I am very proud of her," said Coach Kennedy.

The Corsairs Cup Awards and Dinner, attended by 60 guests and various honorees, then took place at the River Grill at the Newburgh Waterfront, where Dr. William Lee, cardiologist and longtime supporter of the Newburgh Rowing Club, was presented with the Second Corsairs Cup Trophy. "I am privileged to accept this award," said Dr. Lee, whose daughter Mari Lee rowed for the Newburgh Rowing Club and is now a coxswain on the University of Chicago Crew Team. Dr. and Freya Lee have a son, Nicholas Lee, who is currently a member of the Newburgh Rowing Club. "The Newburgh Rowing Club is forever indebted to Dr. Lee for his support, his help, and dedication," said Coach Kennedy.

Senator William Larkin and Nan Hayworth were the keynote speakers, delivering their memories of Assemblyman Kirwan. "Tom Kirwan wasn’t motivated by getting votes, Tom Kirwan was motivated by doing the right thing," said Senator Larkin. Nan Hayworth spoke of Assemblyman’s many contributions to the Newburgh Rowing Club and the Newburgh area.

The event at the Boathouse was free and open to the public. The Corsairs Cup Dinner was a fundraiser and was a great success, said Dr. Michele Winchester-Vega. The co-chairs of the event were Dr. Michele Winchester-Vega, who also served as Master of Ceremonies, and Juliana LoBiondo ("Mrs. Lo").

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