A Word from A New Rotarian

Written By Dwayne Adams


My name is Dwayne Adams, founder and executive director of Breaking Barriers, a nonprofit organization aimed at improving the health of the Wilmington community by encouraging healthy eating and exercise, particularly on the (ERG) rowing machine.

On July 19, 1998, I was accidentally hit in a shootout between rival drug gangs. A stray bullet entered my left eye, leaving me with only partial sight and no sense of smell. During my long recovery, I was introduced to the sport of rowing, and nine months after leaving the hospital I took second place in my first rowing event. In 2002, I won the bronze medal in the World Rowing Championship in Seville, Spain.

Three years later, I founded Breaking Barriers. Although we focus on promoting the sport of rowing among youth in the Wilmington community, we also offer a wide range of services to participants of all ages, including nutritional counseling and exercise programs.

I first encountered members of the Wilmington Rotary Club when, in search of funding for Breaking Barriers, I met with Fred Sears at the Delaware Community Foundation. Dave Fleming was there, and he was very interested in what Breaking Barriers is doing for the community. He invited me to a lunch meeting of the Wilmington Rotary, where I saw the involvement, the passion, the hard work of the people in the club, as well as their commitment to the Wilmington community. Unlike other clubs I’ve joined in the past, the Wilmington Rotary really lives up to its mission statement. I’m proud to be called a Rotarian — and thank you, Dave Fleming.