State Rep. Adrian Madaro, who as a youth learned how to sail in Boston Harbor through the Piers Park Sailing Center’s (PPSC) summer program, was honored by the PPSC board, staff and youth on Monday afternoon for his support and advocacy for the program.
Madaro filed legislation in the state budget that was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker earlier this month to expand the PPSC summer program so the sailing center can serve an additional 100 youths in 2020.
“It’s hard to believe that years ago, Rep. Adrian Madaro was a youth sailor in the program.” said PPSC Board Vice Chair Mary Cole. “We are here today to thank him for helping the sailing center every step of the way. When we had some financial issues a few years back he guided us, he put us in touch with people who could help and keep the program alive. Now we are alive and thriving and much of that is thanks to Rep. Madaro.”
PPSC board member Steve Kirk followed Cole and thanked Madaro for his years of support.
“We had a great Eastie Pride Day with over 300 people out on our boats,” said Kirk. “This is in part due Madaro’s support for the program. This sailing center is something that helps make the community vibrant and I want to thank Rep. Madaro for his support.”
PPSC Executive Director Alex DeFronzo credited Madaro for helping to keep the sailing center afloat during a recent dire fiscal crisis.
“Like Mary (Cole) said three years ago, the summer program finished up like it will at the end of this week,” said DeFronzo. “The sailing center then closed for six months. There was no staff, no instructors and it was a really hard time for the sailing center. I grew up in the sailing center and learned how to sail here as a little kid. I heard about the trouble the center was having and I wanted to help and keep this important program that meant so much to me and many others alive. We needed a lot of help to be able to make that happen. There was really one person that was there through the whole thing to help us, and that was Rep. Adrian Madaro. When we needed his help to get Massport to help the program again he had our backs. When we needed him to make sure Massport would continue their support he had our backs. And now through the state budget he has made sure that next year 100 extra kids will get to come to the program and not have to pay anything to do Harbor Explorers and Science of Sailing. This is why we are presenting him today with the PPSC’s Harbor Hero award.”
After accepting the award Madaro addressed the crowd of PPSC staff and youth sailors.
“This is a particularly special honor because just a few short years ago I was at PPSC enjoying my summer as an East Boston resident attending this summer program,” said Madaro. “It is so special and such an honor for me that I’m in a position to work with the PPSC board and staff to make sure this organization stays afloat, continues to be strong and continues to give youth in East Boston the same opportunities I had. We have to make sure we keep this thing going and I’ll do my work at the State House but I need all of you to spread the word about this awesome program.”