To honor the memory of his father, who had a love of sailing and believed in the restorative effect of it, Lex Birney, CEO of The Brick Companies, made a $100,000 donation today to Chesapeake RegionAccessible Boating (CRAB) Sailing as they kicked off their 30th anniversary and marked the beginning of the construction of a new adaptive sailing center on Bembe Beach Road in Annapolis. The donation is earmarked for a pavilion on the property where Birney said he hopes many people can “rest, and tell fish tales” to honor the legacy of his father, Arthur Birney, who passed away this January.
Present at the celebration were Board members along with many elected officials who worked tirelessly to make this happen. Under Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley and Alderman Rob Savidge, the property was acquired. And with a million dollar contribution from Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman from open space funds and state funding brought to fruition by Senator Sarah Elfreth, Delegate Shaneka Henson, and Delegate Dana Jones, the center is coming to life. Proclamations and Citations were given to Paul “Bo” Bollinger (Executive Director of CRAB) from the Governor, County Executive, and Mayor.
Once the center is complete (anticipated Spring 2022), there will be accessible classrooms, dockage, the pavilion, office space,training and storage space; somethig currently lacking in theor “borrowed” facilities at Sandy Point State Park. Two current buildings on the lot will be removed to make room for the environmentally friendly building.
As the celebrations continued, Bollinger presented a silver tray to outgoing Anne Arundel County Director of Recreation and Parks, Rick Anthony who was instrumental in shepherding the project through the morass of government red tape. Anthony announced his departure last month and will be assuming the same role in Bakersfield, CA to be closer to family.
And to wrap it up…celebrating 30 years, would not be a celebration without cake.
We have had discussions with both Lex Birney about The Brick Companies (fascinating story) and the Bo Bollinger on the history and vision of CRAB. Have a listen.