Sunday, May 10, 2009

On the waterfront

The youth sailing programs at Piers Park are in jeopardy this year because of Bernie Madoff's financial shenanigans. The Boston Herald reports that three foundations that were victimized in the giant Ponzi scheme have pulled funding, leaving the kids landlocked this spring and summer.

The Piers Park Sailing Center, in its 10th season, offers programs for adults and children, as well as having the only fully handicap-accessible dock in New England, which allows the disabled to participate. The group is trying to make up for the half-million dollar shortfall that is a result of the scam and the weak economy.

Contributions can be made online at or sent to:

Piers Park Sailing Center
95 Marginal Street
East Boston, MA 02128

Update (5/16): While the folks at the Piers Park Sailing Center appreciated the Herald's focus on their program, they've pointed out that the newspaper got some of the numbers wrong. The program's executive director, Mat Rosa, sent out the following email, which I received via Joe Mason:

This past Sunday, the Boston Herald ran a story on Piers Park Sailing Center. We anticipated the story to highlight the great work being done at Piers Park and raise awareness of this organization’s Spring Appeal campaign, “Sponsor a Youth”.

On behalf of our staff, Board of Directors, those who support our mission and the thousands of families we serve, I would like to offer this response to the article.

It was a great opportunity for Piers Park to be featured on the front page of a publication with the volume of readers as the Herald. Unfortunately, this article may have raised concerns about the sustainability of our organization.

The story portrayed the Center as experiencing a dire financial situation. However, the figures mentioned in this article were not correct. To date we have raised over $100,000 towards our annual operating budget of $339,500. With our fund raising campaign we are confident in our ability to secure the funds we need to continue to run a fabulous program.

It is also with sincere regret that The Shapiro Family Foundation was mentioned by name in this piece. This foundation has long been a strong supporter of the mission of Piers Park and continues to be a great resource and champion for our organization and the families we serve.

I hope the sensationalized vulnerability of a non-profit organization in this difficult economic climate did not deter from the story that highlighted the great work we do for underserved youth and the disabled community. We are by no means experiencing unprecedented difficulty. Piers Park Sailing Center is a vibrant organization that is alive and well, continuing our important mission of providing unique educational opportunities for the communities we serve.


Anonymous said...

Good job Jim,

Again you have completely ignored the fact that the EB Times and John Lynds broke this story months ago--it also affected Zumix. You really can't give credit ever to that paper huh--even when they do good work?
Not for nothing but this is the fifth or sixth time I've seen that you have blogged "The Globe reported..." when it was the Times and not the Globe that had done the story first.
Maybe you do have a personal thing going on with that paper because a lot of the local stuff you post here about the Globe being on the case is in fact old news the Times reported on weeks ago. I had a friend who use to string for the Globe city weekly section and she told me she'd get 'all her ideas' from the Times' Wednesday edition and follow up on the stories for the Globe's Sunday paper. Do some research and I bet you'll find a lot of what is in the Globe had been in the Times first.

Times Fan

Anonymous said...

Hello Jimbo

Wow,a Times Fan

The Times is a paper that has been slowly receding from this town.

The average person does not get one,as they stopped years ago delivering door to door,and closed the actual Times office in Central Square.

Plus all they ever do is plaster it with pictures of Mumbles,and the boys.

I wouldn't take his post serious at all,its probably John himself.

Peace !