On Jan. 29, the Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ rowing teams will host Row for Humanity, a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity and the Colleges’ rowing teams. The event will take place in the atrium of the Warren Hunting Smith Library from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Each participant will row for a continuous hour on an ergometer, raising dollars for their efforts. Hobart and William Smith students who are members of Habitat for Humanity will be rowing exclusively for Habitat, while members of the Colleges’ rowing teams will share a portion of their proceeds with Habitat.
The community is welcome to participate. So far, the event has earned just over $18,000 that will be shared by the two organizations and organizers expect that number to continue to rise.
“This is the first year Hobart and William Smith will participate in Row for Humanity,” William Smith Head Crew Coach and Row for Humanity coordinator Sandra Chu said. “Having run this event at Kansas State in the past, I know first-hand how exciting it is to be Habitat’s largest contributor.”
“Our teams are excited to be able to give back to the community in a way that is 100 percent helpful and not at all disruptive to an already organized group. Bringing 60 students to a build-site is not always a positive thing, but writing a check that will fund Habitat’s entire spring break build is.”
Row for Humanity is powered by major sponsor Maax, an apparel company based in Manchester, N.H.
“Coach Chu is amazing for getting Colleges involved with Habitat for Humanity,” Luke Gutelius ’98, owner and founder of Maax said. “She’s committed to not only her student-athletes, but more importantly, the community. I imagine the crew team is starting a wonderful trend on campus.”
Other area sponsors include BJ’s, Clemen Sign, Warder’s Awnings and Tents, Geneva Bicycle Center, Geneva Printing Company, Inc., Bragdon House Bed and Breakfast, Studio Salon, Kathleen Kubacki Massage Therapy, Plaza Florist, F.A. Church Hardware, Earthly Possessions, Raymond Loewy Framing, the Water Street Café, and the Downtown Deli.
“The local vendors have been more than generous, and the individual donations keep rolling in,” Chu said. “In rowing and in home building, it takes a team to get things done. We feel like we’ve expanded our team to include everyone who has sent in a donation, or made a gift to the event.”
In particular she is very excited about Maax’s lead gifts, which enabled her to get the event started.
“Luke and Jeb Gutelius have been excited about Row for Humanity since I called them in early September. They’ve provided the event t-shirts, the prizes for the participants who raise the most money and for those who row the most meters. I love that Maax is part of the Row for Humanity team because they understand teamwork, commitment and hard work.”
Founded in 1995 by Kansas State University students Seiji Ikeda and Jim Barnard, Row for Humanity combines the efforts of the crew teams and the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity in a unique indoor rowing marathon. At Kansas State, the Row for Humanity fundraiser is annually the largest donation K-State’s Habitat for Humanity receives.
“This event is very exciting,” Chu, a former assistant coach for the Wildcats, said. “I encourage everyone to drop by, learn more about Habitat for Humanity, see our rowers in action, and purchase raffle tickets for prizes from our amazing sponsors.”