For the 10th year, members of the Herons rowing team will take on the challenge of rowing for 12 hours straight during the annual Row for Community event held in Bristol Field House. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, those participating in the fundraiser, will row on machines in one-hour shifts, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., to raise money to support their team and the greater Geneva community.
“We’re encouraging all who want to support us to come and cheer us on,” says William Smith Rowing Head Coach Sandra Chu. “We’re also hoping those who stop by will give a small donation to help out Geneva.”
Ten percent of profits raised by the event will be given to organizations within the Geneva community. Over the past decade, Hobart and William Smith rowing teams have contributed more than $24,000 to Geneva. This year, members of the Hobart rowing team will make a monetary donation to support the event.
A committee of William Smith rowers has selected Safe Harbors, an organization that supports the victims of abuse and violence, to receive a $2,000 grant. The money will fund the electronic connection of their network to all of their locations across the region, making their records easily accessible. Chu notes that the organization has acknowledged how the gift will “irrevocably change their organization and streamline their service.”
The committee has also elected to give a smaller grant to the Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes. Funding will help to cover the cost of truck rentals that the organization uses to deliver hot meals to five satellite locations throughout the region, providing those in need with weekly lunches.
“It’s hard when you can’t help everybody,” says Chu. “I think that this philanthropic process is also a very important experience for the students. It shows them that they are a part of something much larger, and it is a wonderful exercise in charitable giving – which is something they can carry throughout life.”
Chu, with the help of Herons athletics, has expanded the program over the years. Row for Community began as a small event on the Kansas State campus in 1997. The program now aids rowing organizations across the country in similar fundraisers.