Mooney Serves Amore On Columbus Day

He didn’t sail the Niña, Pinta, or Santa María. On his 4th try, Don Victor Mooney, of Kew Gardens Hills, President of H.R. 1242 Resilience Project departed from Maspalomas, Canary Islands, an archipelago located off the coast of West Africa. Twenty-one months later, he arrived at New York’s Brooklyn Bridge aboard Spirit of Malabo by rowboat, a first for an African American.

Before departing, Mooney toured Casa Museo de Colón in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, where he found great interest in Christopher Columbus navigational charts. The Columbus Citizens Foundation (CCF), a longtime supporter of Mooney’s effort to row across the Atlantic Ocean, has invited him to walk in the largest celebration of Italian American heritage and culture in the United States.

Mooney, a devout Catholic, received a blessing from then Pope John Paul II at the Vatican for his mission.

“Christopher Columbus navigational charts encouraged me that the transatlantic crossing was possible”– Don Victor Mooney

H.R. 1242 Resilience Project begins distributing tennis rackets, books, and school supplies on Tuesday, which was collected during last month’s U.S. Open Tennis Championships in honor of Arthur Ashe.

H.R. 1242 Resilience Float for NYC Columbus Day Parade, which was built in Don Victor Mooney's garage. (GC Media, October 11, 2021)

H.R. 1242 Resilience Float for NYC Columbus Day Parade, which was built in Don Victor Mooney’s garage. (GC Media, October 11, 2021)

Arthur Ashe was the first American U.S. Open men’s singles champion played in Forest Hills, Queens. His victories continued at Wimbledon and the Austrian Open, all first for an African American. Ashe died of complications from AIDS in 1993.

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