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Saucy support for Crossley rowers

Fundraising pasta dinner happens tomorrow—en route to $100K goal

With some luck and many servings of pasta, E.L. Crossley’s rowing team is trying to raise enough money to replace two boats that were damaged last summer on the way to a rowing competition in Philadelphia, when the boats fell off the trailers carrying them. Despite the setback, the team still competed with borrowed boats.

However, the damage caused to both boats was a blow to a team that was already working toward fundraising to update equipment. Nicole Kennedy’s son Bowden is a member of the rowing team, which is why she is working with a committee of parents to help raise funds to replace equipment that is at least 25 years old.

“As much as we were fundraising for new boats, now we’re fundraising to replace the two that were damaged. There’s no funding from the high school so everything has to be raised privately.”

Planned for tomorrow, Saturday, the pasta dinner will start at 5:30 p.m. at Crossley, with doors opening at 5 p.m. The evening will feature games and prizes. Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased in advance by contacting the rowing team, or at the door. Take-out is also available.

Kennedy said the pasta dinner has always been a big fundraiser for the team. However, the dinner is more important this year given the team’s fundraising goal of at least $100,000. The estimated cost to buy one second-hand boat is anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000.

There are other costs for equipment maintenance and replacement. The need for new oars and equipment, as well as repairs and replacement parts for older boats, costs $10,000 a year.

“The loss of both boats, coupled with a pause in fundraising activities during the Covid-19 pandemic, has left our funds depleted, necessitating a collective effort to get back on track,” Kennedy said. “There has been a rallying of the troops to get things going but we’ve got a big, tall order.”

Despite the challenge of needing new equipment, Kennedy said the rowing team continues to succeed. Last May, Crossley competed in the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, which is one of the largest high school regattas globally. The team took home gold in the Boys Senior Single, Girls Junior Quad, and Boys Lightweight 4 categories.

“We have this incredible team out of Pelham and we’re up against private schools out of British Columbia and it’s wild what these kids are doing with old equipment,” she said.

Crossley ranks number one in gold medals won at the Canadian Secondary School Regatta (CSSRA). Between 1939 and 2023, the high school won 151 gold medals, and the rowing team won 11 consecutive national championships.

For more information about how to support E.L. Crossley’s rowing team, or to purchase tickets in advance email [email protected].


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Sarah Ferguson

About the Author: Sarah Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson has more than a decade of experience reporting in the Niagara region.
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