Ventnor City Beach Patrol Chief Stan Bergman has coached crew most of his adult life, at Holy Spirit High School and for about 25 years at the University of Pennsylvania.

He didn’t have the opportunity to row at Atlantic City High School, though. The sport didn’t exist there when he graduated in 1959.

But as a young lifeguard he started rowing in racing shells after Margate doctor John Holland started the Viking Rowing Club in Ventnor. It was the late 1950s, and Holland invited lifeguards to give it a try, Bergman said.

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Holland even found a former Olympian to train them — Thomas Curran, who had rowed in the 1936 Olympics and happened to live in Northfield.

“Doc got him to coach the guys,” Bergman said of Curran, the coach at then LaSalle College, and later at Temple University.

Bergman will talk about Holland and the history of local crew Thursday evening at the Noyes Arts Garage Stockton College in Atlantic City, where The Smithsonian Institution’s Hometown Teams exhibit remains through May 4.

Holland got crew programs going at local high schools in the mid-1960s, Bergman said, and recruited coaches from the lifeguard pool.

Bergman, then teaching seventh- and eighth-grade math in Northfield, became the first coach at Holy Spirit High School; Atlantic City High School Principal Bill Faunce, a former Atlantic City lifeguard, became the first ACHS coach; and Bill Subin, now a prominent defense attorney, was the first St. Augustine Prep coach, said Bergman.

Bergman left Penn in 2007, and returned to coaching at Holy Spirit, where he now assists coach Michael Giegerich.

He has been a lifeguard 57 years and still heads up the Ventnor Beach Patrol. He and wife Barbara have four children and nine grandchildren.

Bergman and some buddies row lifeguard boats to keep in shape.

“We call them the “stay alive rows,” Bergman said.

Cape Regional Excellence Award

Phlebotomist Mary Warner, of the Villas, is Cape Regional Medical Center’s Service Excellence Awardee for February, the hospital announced.

“She will often help a patient or their family with kind gestures such as offering coffee, warm blankets and making sure that the patient is comfortable,” ER Nurse Vanessa Landis said in a written statement from the hospital. “Mary is always willing to help her co-workers regardless of whether it is a part of her regular responsibilities.”

Inspira ‘Auxilian of the Year’

Margaret Basile has been named “Auxilian of the Year" by the Inspira Auxiliary Cumberland County, for her work for the Inspira Foundation Cumberland/Salem in 2013.

Executive Director Carolyn Heckman said Basile launched the Restaurant Raffle and helped raise more than $60,000 in 2013.

Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.

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