A great way to raise awareness for a charity or a group is to accomplish a feat of extraordinary athleticism. We saw Chris Carney do this with “The Soldier Ride,” which is now a national brand, after one day he decided to ride his bicycle from the Hamptons across the country to raise awareness for veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s always an extremely exciting thing to see people do such things, and it’s a great way to raise awareness for good causes.
One man, however, is raising a great deal of awareness by attempting to row a boat around Long Island. His name is Chris Cuddihy and for two years in a row he has claimed that he will row his boat around Long Island without the help of an engine, in order to raise money and awareness for the Suffolk County United Veterans Project, which is based in Yaphank.
Both last year and this year, however, he has been unsuccessful; Cuddihy has called it quits on his rowing duty.
This year, his six-man crew decided that the wind was too strong to handle and that significant damage was done to their catamaran, causing them to head for shore and try again next year. It is interesting to note that while his two attempts to row around Long Island have been unsuccessful, his ability to raise awareness for his charity has been nothing but successful. Nearly every media outlet on Long Island has covered the story of Cuddihy, drawing the attention of thousands of people to him and to his charity. [expand]
But he hasn’t accomplished what he said he is going to do. Have we discovered a new way to raise money?
Cuddihy has vowed that next year will be the year that he will be able to pull off the row, but if you think about it, he may have discovered a brand new way to gain an extreme amount of attention for a charity, simply by failing at what you say you are going to do.
The very act of not accomplishing the immense task is in itself news. And look at what is happening right now as you read this; we are writing a story and publishing it in a major publication about that very fact!
All joking aside, make no mistake about Cuddihy; he is an absolute machine when it comes to pulling off ultra-long events. The man has run in several ultra-marathons around the world, and he also ran for 24 hours straight in downtown Riverhead to raise money for charity. He frequently does endurance events to raise money, some of them arguably more challenging than a row around Long Island, but due to outside factors beyond his control, he had to stop the row short.
Last year, it wasn’t the damage to the boat that stopped him, but an incredibly wild thunder and lightening storm. And because the goal is to row continuously, there was simply no way that he could continue.
Cuddihy, however, is a man from Riverside who doesn’t like to quit, and quite frankly, never does. So you can expect him to row around Long Island next year, because he’s that type of guy, unstoppable.
And it will be that much sweeter when he pulls it off. [/expand]