Just Donating Some Dinghies



… paying it forward!  When the Academy decided it was time to purchase a new fleet of dinghies for the sailing team, they contacted Mike Bruno (MMA Alum and “Double Buc” (Marine Engineering ’07 & Facilities Management ’14) to see if he was still volunteering for the Piers Park Sailing Center in East Boston.  He was.

MMA’s existing sailing fleet was recently donated to multiple organizations. Six dinghies found a new home in the city.  Piers Park Sailing Center is a charitable nonprofit that gets 1,600 kids and 300 adults sailing on Boston Harbor and to the Boston Harbor Islands every year.  The program brings a diverse group of children and adults into the maritime sector and through education has taught more than 14,000 people how to sail since its inception in 1998, including a group of youth instructors that have decided to continue their maritime journey by attending MMA. The Academy sail training, starts during orientation, and is still an integral part of the curriculum. Freshmen begin by learning to sail 420s and Tech dinghies at the MMA Sailing Center on Herring Pond. On June 6th, six of the 420s were shipped to Boston.

Alex DeFronzo, Executive Director of PPSC, reported that “we recently launched a sailing program, working with Boston Public Schools, to create a sailing team at East Boston High School (EBHS).  The EBHS sailing team is one of the only public schools in Boston to offer sailing as a team sport.  None of the students that joined the team had ever sailed before, so we have been able to use the fleet of dinghies donated by MMA to train the sailing team and have them compete with other schools all along the coast.”

Mike Bruno, the alum who connected the school and PPSC, added “It is our mission to use sailing to empower individuals to be stewards of a healthier environment and leaders in their community.  The donation by MMA has allowed us to recruit a new generation of young sailors and really have a major impact on their life by introducing them to the marine environment and instilling in them skills that they will use throughout their lives.  We see this as just the beginning of a strong partnership with the Academy, one that will connect individuals from all backgrounds to the maritime industry.”