Welcome back to Metro Giving! Every other Tuesday, we’ve devoted a page of our newspaper to write about New Yorkers who are giving back. It’s not just established nonprofits with thousands of dollars in fundraising power. It’s everyday Metro readers like you, who think our world could be improved — and so they’re doing it. Know a person or a group who should be on the pages of Metro Giving? Let us know at: [email protected].
Some people walk for HIV/AIDS awareness. Others wear ribbons. Victor Mooney wants to row across the Atlantic Ocean.
This Sunday, Mooney, a 45-year-old Forest Hills resident, will fly to South Africa. Sometime in mid-February, he plans on launching his 17-foot custom rowboat, “Never Give Up,” from Cape Verde — and he won’t stop until he reaches Brooklyn.
This isn’t Mooney’s first attempt at the journey. He’s tried to row from Senegal to the U.S. twice before. In 2006, his homemade boat sunk off the coast of Dakar within hours, and he needed to be rescued by the Senegalese navy.
And in May 2009, he made it 300 miles west of Guinea Bissau when his water desalination system broke, forcing him to turn back.
He’s been “training non-stop ever since,” rowing off Long Island in the open Atlantic for practice.
“I’m not getting off the boat until I get to the Brooklyn Bridge,” vowed Mooney, whose trip is sponsored in part by Durex condoms. “My motto is: never give up until there’s a cure for AIDS.”
Mooney lost one brother to HIV/AIDS and has another living with the disease. Before he sets sail, he’ll tour South Africa and Nigeria to promote HIV testing.
“So many people are walking around with the disease, and they don’t even know it,” he said. “Not everyone has to row across the Atlantic to fight AIDS: Encourage someone to get tested.”
Pitch in, NYC!
Want to get involved? Here are upcoming charity events going on this month:
» Today, Feb. 1: Sign up opens today if you want to bike New York on May 1 as part of TD Bank’s Five Boro Bike Tour. Last year, riders raised $700,000 for charity, and this year they hope to raise a whopping $2 million. Sign up at: www.bikenewyork.org.
» Friday, Feb. 4: Butterfield 8 bar is raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s plunge into the Atlantic Ocean this Super Bowl Sunday. Stop by Butterfield at 5 E. 38th St. (between Fifth and Madison) from 10:30-12:30; $35 all-you-can-drink. Half of the money from the open bar will go to Make-A-Wish’s Super Bowl Splash.
» Sunday, Feb. 6: Antonio Prieto Salon in Chelsea will hold a fundraiser for PS 107. Nearly 50 percent off all regular services and all proceeds will go to the PS 107 PTA.
» Tuesday, Feb. 8: Daniel Hallahan is holding a fundraiser for his friend, Megan Hjelmar, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and will be out of work for the next few months. Stop by The Wicked Monk Irish Pub at 8415 5th Ave. in Bay Ridge from 6 p.m. onward on Tuesday.