27% of $50,000 goal
Westerville Crew Launches “Lift All Boats” Campaign - Honoring the Life and Service of Army Spc Vincent J. “VJ” Pomante III
WESTERVILLE, OH, APRIL 29, 2023 - Westerville Rowing Club, a non-profit rowing organization serving Central Ohio and the Westerville community, today announced the launch of its “Lift All Boats” fundraising campaign to honor the life and service of Vincent James "VJ" Pomante, III, SPC, United States Army. While on a diplomatic mission in Iraq, December 6, 2006, VJ's life was cut short by an improvised explosive device.
VJ rowed for Westerville Crew from 2000-2003 and had a deep love for the sport of rowing. His commitment to hard work, duty, and teamwork is what drew him to rowing, and ultimately, to the United States Army. The love and camaraderie that his Westerville teammates felt toward him was also experienced by his fellow soldiers in the Field Artillery, Combat Team and Armored Division in the US Army.
The “Lift All Boats” campaign will serve as a living tribute. Funds raised will enable the purchase of a new men’s racing shell to permanently enshrine VJ’s name and memory in the Westerville Rowing Club fleet.
Former coaches and teammates remember VJ for his tenacity and how he endeared himself with humor to all who were lucky to know and row with him. "Rowing is the ultimate team sport that demands everyone pull together with a commitment to your teammates. There are no individual standouts; only teams stand out. VJ was a great, trusted and committed teammate, always with a word of humor and an infectious positive attitude. He carried that into the military where he made his greatest sacrifice. I will always have fond memories of VJ,” said Matt Chase, VJ’s former head coach of Westerville Crew.
A boat naming ceremony will be scheduled and shared with donors once the campaign is complete. Gifts exceeding the initial goal will be directed to a rowing scholarship in VJ's name for future rowers of Westerville Crew.
About Lift All Boats - The Westerville Crew campaign was Inspired by "A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats,” the old adage that success benefits all those around it, just as a rising tide will lift all boats, not only one. This Is the training philosophy of rowing. At Westerville Crew, we believe in the values of teamwork and in the power of encouraging and supporting one another.
About Vincent J. Pomante III - Vincent James "VJ" Pomante, III, attended Whittier and Cherrington Elementary Schools, Blendon Middle School, and was a 2003 graduate of Westerville South High School, where he was a member of the wrestling team and Westerville Crew Rowing team. VJ also participated in the Worthington Field Studies and was an avid outdoorsman. Feeling called to join the military after graduation, Spc. Vincent J. “VJ” Pomante III became a member of the U.S. Army, and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Giessen, Germany. After losing his life in Iraq, Spc. Pomante was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his bravery.
About Westerville Rowing Club - Founded in 1993, Westerville Crew is a rowing club dedicated to building strong, confident athletes through the sport of rowing. The club instills the values of teamwork, dedication, and resilience in youth and adult men and women, regardless of talent or background. The club offers inclusive programs for many age groups and skill levels: learn-to-row summer camps for youth and middle schoolers; and competitive middle-school, high school and masters programs. Visit www.westervillecrew.org for more information.