by Regina Skyer
Two years ago, Skyer Law attorney and partner Greg Cangiano lost his mother Ina Hurwitz Cangiano to a short but hard battle with cancer. Ina was only 67 and her death was a tragedy for all who knew her. She was not only a loving and devoted mother, wife, grandmother, and friend, but she was also a school guidance counselor for 33 years who worked in low-income neighborhoods at NYC public schools.
When Ina died, her family and our law firm decided to establish the INA Fund – a non-profit charitable fund in her name. Ina's professional life was devoted to making the world better for the children she worked with, and she accomplished this, but she was taken from us far too early; she had work left to do.
We launched the INA Fund on July 8th by sponsoring They Will Surf Again, a free annual adaptive surfing event at Rockaway Beach, which was Ina’s hometown. Over 200 volunteer surfers, including members of our staff, assisted 80 disabled children, teenagers, and adults in the ocean using adaptive surfboards. My son Josh also led a team made up of volunteer students from his martial arts school (Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Brooklyn Heights). The joy these athletes experienced as they rode the waves and were cheered by hundreds of onlookers was boundless.
The weather was perfect; the water cool, but not cold. This uplifting day was a gift for everyone who gathered on the beach.
When explaining this event to my young grandchildren who attended, I told them that while not everyone goes through life with arms and legs that work, or with the ability to communicate in the same way, or with the a brain that thinks in the same way, that the smell of the ocean, the sound of waves crashing, and the feel of cool water washing over you on a hot day—these things can and should be shared.