PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia fire department captain, touched by the plight of families who have children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, has decided to raise money and awareness for the cause by rowing from Washington, D.C. to New York City. He was scheduled to be pulling into Philadelphia this afternoon.
Captain Neil Calore has rowed, hours at a time, for more than a hundred miles so far. And his journey is still not over.
“I know some friends who have autism in their family and I see the struggles they go through,” says Calore, explaining his reason for undertaking the trip.
Following Calore is a support boat with fire lieutenant Bill Drennen and firefighter Bill Mattox aboard.
“He’s on a rowboat, so he’s facing backwards — he’s going north, but facing south,” notes Mattox. “So we have to tell him if there is something in his path and give him course corrections.”
All three men are using their own vacation time to make this trip, and credit fire departments along the route for providing support and assistance — especially one time when the support boat broke down on the water.
And Calore says there are still challenges ahead.
“We have the upper Delaware River that has a lot of current against me. I have the Delaware and Raritan Canal. And once we get through there, we have to get up New York Bay.”
Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060