The Farmington High School crew team operates as a close-knit family. That's what Coach Laura Butterfield and many of the students who row on the team said when they lost one of their own, 14-year-old Mateusz Maciulewski in July.
Mateusz, who had just finished his freshman year at Farmington High School, was hit by a car as he tried to cross Route 4 near Farm Glen Boulevard.
Team members held a vigil for Mateusz shortly after his death and Butterfield at the time invited them to decide how they would like to remember their friend.
They decided on a boat.
To honor his memory and his love for crew, the team dedicated a new boat Sunday afternoon for Mateusz Maciulewski. His family joined the team and his mother, Danuta Maciulewski, unwrapped the bow of the boat to reveal its name, "Fala Odwagi," which means "Wave of Courage" in Polish.
"Mateusz was afraid of water and swimming when he joined the team, and anyone who rows, and knows how much pain rowing can put you in, understands the reference," Butterfield said in an email Sunday.
A few of his friends took the boat for its maiden voyage, Butterfield said.
The boat, a Resolute hull, was manufactured in Bristol, RI, where the team picked it up Saturday. It was purchased with funds raised in the ergathon and duck race events the team conducted in the previous year's season.
Anyone who would like to make a donation in Mateusz' memory, may send funds to Friends of Farmington Crew at Farmington High School.