A triathlete originally from Port Washington is training to row solo around Long Island to raise money for charity.
Andrew Gillman, who now lives in Boulder, Co., started a fundraising campaign, Endurance Driven Philanthropy, to organize his own extreme cycling, climbing, skiing, and rowing missions for nonprofit organizations. He previously ran triathlons and took up rowing to stay fit. He was also the first American to climb ice for 24 hours.
“I’ve been given so much, whether it’s gear or time or opportunity, and I love being able to help other people,” Gillman says. “The endurance gets to drive the philanthropy, and I’m using my gifts as an athlete to change people’s lives. If I help one person, I’m good, I got my gold medal.”
He had planned to spend eight days rowing around Long Island — from Sagamore Yacht Club in Oyster Bay, around the entire Island, and back — in September. However, his previous rowing mission on Lake Tahoe was postponed due to nearby wildfires. So the Long Island rowing expedition is now pushed off until June 2022. Gillman believes he’ll be the first to make the 249-mile journey.
The event will raise funds for the Michael Magro Foundation, a Hicksville-based organization that supports children with cancer, pediatric cancer survivors, and their families.
“The work they do is incredible, and they’re really small so I wanted to help them,” Gillman says. “They help offset costs for those families.”
The mission will also benefit Bees Trees Water, a New York-based nonprofit that helps bring clean drinking water to small villages overseas suffering from the global water crisis, among other environmental efforts to financially support those villages.
Now that he has more time, Gillman says he welcomes Long Island charities to reach out to him if they would like him to fundraise for them through his missions. Businesses can also volunteer to sponsor his missions.
“I want them to reach out to help and be a part of it,” he says. “It’s just me, so it’s a personal thing and makes a difference.”
Learn more about Gillman at drivenbyendurance.com.