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Hudson River Rowing Teams to Fundraise for Global Youth Soccer Programs

By Andrea Swalec | September 7, 2012 2:26pm

MANHATTAN — Village and Downtown residents will row, row, row their boats down the Hudson River Saturday to help raise money for youth sports.

The first annual "Just Crew It!" boat race fundraiser will push off from Pier 40 in the West Village at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, with the goal of benefitting groups that give soccer balls and other gear to children in developing countries, according to the website for the event. 

The benefit, coordinated by the Village Community Boathouse and Downtown United Soccer Club, will pit seven four-person teams of rowers from local businesses and FDNY Marine Company 1 against each other, explained rower Jimmy Sanz, who is leading a team from the West 4th Street Spanish restaurant Tio Pepe, which he manages. 

"It's going to be a fun day and a challenging race, all for a nice charity," said Sanz, whose team has raised more than $800. 

The race will benefit the Soccer Recycle project of the Downtown United Soccer Club, which works in Haiti, and the Cockroach Club eXchange, which works in Kenya. 

Sanz, a West Village resident, said he supported the charities because soccer is a sport easily available to all, regardless of income level. 

"All you need is a field, a goal and a ball," he said. "Soccer gives people hope and something positive to entertain themselves with." 

The race begins at 9:30 a.m. and will end at noon. A barbecue will be held on the pier off of West Houston Street afterward. 

"Even if people aren't going to come cheer for the teams, if they come to our barbecue and give some money, it would be great," he said.