Charity Information


Therapy Without Walls

Adaptive rowing is a sport that can be thought of as therapy without walls.  Adaptive rowing is suited for individuals with numerous types of disabilities including, but not limited to, paraplegics, quadriplegics, amputees, and the visually and mentally impaired.  The basic requirement is the ability to use one or both upper extremities—even if there is limited strength—and to understand the need for safety on and around the water.

The basic techniques of adaptive rowing are the same as with able-bodied rowing—balance, timing, and oar work. The equipment, not the sport, is adapted and equipment adaptations are based on the needs of the individual rower.  Adaptive rowing can be competitive, recreational or both.  Almost everyone can become participants - young, old, male, female, soldier or civilian.

Watch an Adaptive Rowing Demonstration at the Regatta

An adaptive rowing demonstration will be presented on Sunday afternoon by Laura Schwanger, bronze medal winner in women’s single sculls in the 2008 Paralympic Games.  She also earned gold, silver and bronze medals in track and field in 1988, 1992 and 1996 in the Paralympic Games.  Schwanger, a U.S. Army veteran, has multiple sclerosis and is a breast cancer survivor. 

Find Out More About Adaptive Rowing

For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000.

Five seats are available in each of the following categories:  Youth Female, Youth Male, Masters Female and Masters Male.  Here’s how you can secure one of those 20 seats:

1.Collect pledges.  The top fundraiser in each of these four categories will earn an automatic entry in their category.

2.The second, third, fourth and fifth place fundraisers in each category will get raffle tickets based on their rank in sales.  These raffle tickets will be placed in containers with other raffle tickets sold at the regatta – one container for each of the four categories.

3.Purchase raffle tickets at the regatta.  The more you purchase, the more you increase your chances of rowing with a National Team rower.

4.The selection of the remaining four seats in each of the four race categories will be drawn at random from these containers.  Youth will be drawn at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday; Masters will be drawn at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.

5.Participants must bring all pledge money to the regatta.  The pledge money must be turned in to regatta officials by noon on Saturday, February 26 for Youth events and by noon Sunday, February 27, for Masters events.

You can earn a coveted spot in a 2X with one of the 10 National Team rowers participating in the Sarasota Invitational! 

You may never have this opportunity again.  Don’t be left standing on the shore. Start collecting that pledge money today!

Money raised from the charity races will fund the new adaptive rowing program in Sarasota!


Thank you!


A woman paralyzed from the waist down glides along the Intracoastal Waterway in a specially outfitted rowing shell.  Years ago, this activity would have been impossible for people with disabilities.  Now, thanks to adaptive rowing programs, it’s happening nationwide – and Sarasota will soon have its own adaptive rowing program.

Mae Joyce GayMae_Joyce_Gay.html
Caryn DaviesCaryn_Davies.html
Laura SchwangerLaura_Schwanger.html