The William Penn Charter rowing team will be rowing for a cause close to their coach’s heart tonight.
The three-hour row-a-thon at the East Falls school will raise money for coach Michael Moulton’s family and others dealing with cancer. Moulton’s wife, Toni, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.
“It doesn’t surprise me that these rowers – boys and girls – are community minded,” said Moulton. “The sport requires them to be completely together and when they are in the boat together, they have to work as one unit.”
As a teacher, Moulton said it wasn’t easy to accept the students’ assistance because his job requires him to put the students’ needs first. It wasn’t until one of the team members’ parents told him “you really need to let them help you,” that Moulton was able to set aside his own feelings.
“It made sense and, in many ways, it was a relief because we need a lot of help and support to go through what she’s going through with cancer,” said Moulton. “It’s such a wonderful thing to hear that they want to help and also I can see clearly that it’s about helping, and it’s about giving people the chance to take part.”
The rowers will be rowing on several ergometers, a rowing machine that is calibrated to measure the amount of energy the rower is generating. The rowers have all been sponsored by families, colleagues and neighbors to row as hard as they can and will be rowing for three straight hours.
The event starts at 5 p.m. in the school’s old gym. There will be food, music, movies and on-land instruction for everybody. Attendees are encouraged to wear gym clothing.
Proceeds from the event will go to the Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia in West Fairmont Park.