SARASOTA, Fla. – To escape the winter North Carolina chill, the Duke rowing team traveled to sunny Sarasota, Fla., for winter training at Nathan Benderson Park. While in Florida, the squad not only helped improve their skills but also spent time volunteering with a local charity, Second Chance-Last Opportunity.
Second Chance-Last Opportunity (SCLO) is a community-based grassroots organization that offers life management skills classes to at-risk teens and their low-income and/or homeless families since 1995.
April Glasco founded SCLO and since its inception, SCLO programs have grown to include life-management skills training, parenting skills training, counseling, mentoring, summer and after-school youth programs, food, clothing and shelter referrals, and holiday meals and food distribution.
On Saturday, DWR spent the afternoon playing with children and families from SCLO at a nearby park and helped the children with a photography project titled “My World”, which helps the children capture images that define their perspectives.
“I’m so proud of our team for coming together and working for a great community and organization,” head coach Megan Cooke Carcagno said. “It was amazing to spend time playing with kids. On training trips, it’s so easy to get caught up in taking care of yourself; it was great to help others instead. Not only did our team spend its time on an afternoon off, but they spent a portion of their meal money buying more supplies to keep Second Chance moving forward. Gratitude is one of our core identities. I’m grateful to belong to something as special as DWR.”
After the event, the team collected their remaining per diem and went shopping for books, puzzles, crayons bottles and office supplies for SCLO. The training facility for the girls, Nathan Benderson Park, heard what the squad was doing for the charity and donated 50 backpacks, water bottles and nearly 200 t-shirts. DWR stuffed the backpacks and surprised April with the gifts.
“I want to thank April Glasco for creating such an excellent organization,” Cooke Carcagno said. “Every single person deserves a second chance, and we were glad to help. I also want to thank Sarah Kupiac and Nathan Benderson Park, our training venue, for stepping up and giving back to the local community. Lastly, our assistant coach Victoria McGee and my staff for putting all the wheels in motion.”
The DWR squad will kick off the regular season Saturday, March 10 at the Clemson Cup in Clemson, S.C.