The Hobart and William Smith Crew teams will hold two annual fundraisers, Row for Community and Kicks for Community on Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the atrium of the Warren Hunting Smith Library from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Row for Community, sponsored by both crew teams, is a charitable fundraiser held for the past eight years at Hobart and William Smith. The event invites community members to row for an hour on an ergometer, or rowing machine, raising money for their efforts. This year, the proceeds will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County, the Domestic Violence Victims Assistance Program offered by Family Counseling Service of the Finger Lakes, and the Geneva General Child Care Program.
As a way to emphasize the team’s green initiative, the William Smith Crew team started Kicks for Community last year. The program seeks to collect gently used sneakers and shoes to be donated to Soles4Souls, a non-profit organization that gives shoes worldwide to those who need them. In its first year, the program collected 200 pairs of shoes. A $2 donation is requested per pair of shoes to offset the cost of shipping. Currently, Soles4Souls is focusing on assisting Haiti by providing shoes that will protect individuals from broken glass and other dangerous debris as a result of the devastating earthquake.
For every pair of gently worn shoes donated, participants will be entered into a raffle to win a new pair of sneakers. Raffle tickets can be purchased for a $5 donation by those who do not have a pair of shoes to donate.
“As a sport, we are exposed to some of the best natural resources in the nation-lakes and rivers. Our connection to our own canal and lake have led us to realize that we naturally have some stewardship over our environment and Kicks for Community helps us to get others involved in an important recycling effort,” says William Smith Crew coach, Sandra Chu, who is also national coordinator for Row for Community/Row for Humanity. “Shoes and sneakers are items which take hundreds of years to breakdown in our landfills-if we can delay when those shoes and sneakers arrive as well as provide someone with footwear who really needs it, we are very happy to do so. ‘William Smith Rows GREEN’ and hopes the campus will join us!”
William Smith Crew hopes to collect one pair of shoes for every student on campus and is accepting donations from the student body, faculty and staff as well as members of the local community. When donating, it would be greatly appreciated if participants secured pairs of shoes with a rubber band beforehand to make everything run as smoothly as possible.