Crew tradition helps local families

Each year Space Coast Crew covers a tree with little paper angels, and each team member picks an angel and agrees to purchase the toy or gift —  such as books for 12-year olds, gift cards for groceries and toy cars — written on each one. The team then gathers at its annual Christmas party to wrap the gifts and deliver them to local families in need. Sophomore Cassie Hughey is excited to do her part.

“It’s just a great, cheerful environment and everyone helps with the wrapping, and it just makes us all feel happy because we’re helping out,” she said.

Margot Cronk, a parent of former rowers, has been in charge of the tradition for the past seven years.

“The team began sponsoring families at the elementary school, before my time probably 13 years ago,” Cronk said. “Seven years ago Mrs. Romano and I started using the the tags and the tree and started calling it the Angel tree.”

Rowers on the team do not  know the elementary school or the families that they are helping.

“The elementary school teachers nominate the kids that they think are the most in need, the families who could truly use our help, without which they probably wouldn’t have a Christmas,” Cronk said.

Although Cronk no longer has kids on the team, she believes the tradition is important enough for her to come back and see through.

“I cannot adequately describe the feeling of delivering the gifts,” she said. “I absolutely love to watch all of the rowers circle around the tree to read the angel tags and choose one.”

By Evy Guerra