Dowling College presented a special Golden Lions Award to Rick Shalvoy, a man who epitomizes dedication, dignity, and the spirit of giving.
Rick Shalvoy is a native Long Islander who has worked, among other jobs, for the Long Island Region of the New York Parks Department as an ocean lifeguard for 34 years. To those of us from Long Island, his story is a familiar one. In 1989, a close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36. Eight years later, Rick began planning his first row around Long Island to raise money for research and heighten awareness of the disease that strikes one in nine women in the United States. In 1997, after planning the event virtually on his own, Rick set out rowing in a 19-foot ocean rescue boat. He did so for twelve hours a day, and became the first person ever to row 300 miles completely around Long Island and its barrier beaches. In the first year, he raised over $50,000 for breast cancer research. Just a few months ago, Rick Shalvoy finished his seventh Row for a Cure and has now raised in excess of $500,000 with the help of many individuals and corporate sponsors.
In 1990, Rick became the New York manager for medical test kit manufacturer SmithKline Diagnostics, and advanced during the next several years to become SKD’s Integrated Healthcare Programs Manager in 1997. Rick is currently President of Healthy eConnections, a health education and testing program administration company based in Farmingdale, NY. In addition to life guarding and ocean rowing, Rick has stayed active in sports by helping Bay Shore High School teacher and coach Bill Blackman start a Dowling-based rowing program at Bay Shore High School. Shalvoy is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Aquarium. He continues to live on Long Island and has four children.
To Rick Shalvoy, the fight against breast cancer will not end until a safe and effective cure is discovered and available to patients. The countless hours he dedicated each year to keep his vow of continuing Row for a Cure make him this year’s Golden Lion Award winner. For more information about Rick and Row for a Cure, visit his website at http://www.rowforthecure.com/
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