When Piers Park Sailing Center, the neighborhood’s beloved community sailing program, nearly closed a few years ago due to financial hardships, the East Boston community rallied to help save the sailing center.
Numerous agencies, residents and businesses stepped up with donations to help keep PPSC afloat.
A donation by Massport then, and another generous donation this week, has helped PPSC continue to run its successful summer youth programs that puts hundreds of local children on the Boston Harbor to sail throughout the summer months.
PPSC Executive Director Alex DeFronzo and Massport Executive Director Lisa Wieland announced another round of grant funding for the sailing center.
Massport gave a $25,000 grant to PPSC to continue supporting the sailing center’s Inclusive Youth Development Program. The grant will provide over 600 children and teens with summer programming at Piers Park. This funding provides youths with pathways for mentorship, leadership, and employment opportunities.
“We are pleased to once again be a corporate sponsor for the Piers Park Sailing Center and all that they do for East Boston and neighboring communities,” said Wieland. “The Sailing Center offers programming for people of all ages and abilities year round on Boston Harbor as well as mentoring and leadership opportunities. We want to thank Alex and his team for the great work they do every day.”
Students from Eastie, Winthrop, South Boston, Chelsea, and Revere will be able to sail, kayak, fish, and explore the harbor for low or no cost.
“The partnership we have with Massport is vital to our programming” said Piers Park Sailing Executive Director Alex DeFronzo. “The grant funding and facilities provided by Massport ensure that hundreds of youth get to have fun, enriching, and educational programs during the summer. I grew up in these programs and I am deeply grateful to Massport for the sustained support they have provided to the sailing center. Every year we are able to introduce hundreds of new young sailors to Boston Harbor because of this grant.”
PPSC was established in 1998 as part of Massport’s development of East Boston Piers Park to enhance open spaces and provide outdoor education and recreation to the community. Since that time the center has been dedicated to providing 100-percent inclusive and accessible year round recreational, and personal growth opportunities for children and young adults starting at age 6.
“Every year, the center strives to recruit students least likely to otherwise access its programs, including economically disadvantaged students and students with diagnosed cognitive and physical disabilities,” said DeFronzo. “PPSC hopes to retain these students from year to year to build skills.”