It’s been a few months since you got an update from the board on our progress in supporting the team and with just under a month till alumni weekend we figured this was a good time for an update. Your board has had an incredible year of life changes: Matt Kacheris and Connor Poske started new jobs, Madison Grant has been buried in brain science at UGA, Erin (Halpin) Walsh has been in the thick of an intense project at work, Tom Crane and family have been on the road a ton as their oldest just graduated college, and we just welcomed a new baby girl to our family. In other words, each of us has had a severe lack for free time but we’ve still some how managed to move ahead with our plans to support the team!
First, I do want to go back and recognize the outstanding season the team had: SIRA medals and a spring capped off by a bronze for the Women’s Novice 4+ and petite final victory for the Men’s 2-. We support this team to give more athletes these kinds of opportunities and the resources to compete. Our gifts are having an impact and we couldn’t have done what we’ve done without the philanthropic spirit of our alumni and friends. The real gift though, has been getting to know this generation of rowers, watch them build their own legacy, and offer mentorship where we can so that every generation builds off the one before it. As Mark Helms (’96) used to say, this team is what you make of it.
We are in Year Three of our first Five Year plan and are well on our way to meeting our goal of a boathouse on our property on Lake Talquin. In the past year, we cleared 25 trees to make the property more accessible and navigable, had a contractor perform massive brush clearing, and have been working through vendor selection for the components of the actual construction portion of the project. The improvements over the past year have already paid dividends in allowing Capital City Rowing to successfully host three of the largest junior crews in the nation (Atlanta Juniors, Winter Park High, and OARS) for a quad meet on our land with over 500 rowers! In the coming weeks and months, we’ll complete the permitting and environmental review process, land grading and preparation, and construction of the boathouse itself!
One question we often get is why we are focusing on a boathouse when the team has so many needs. The simple answer is a permanent, secure structure will anchor the program and protect the other capital investments we make in FSU Rowing. In the past two years, the team has had three outboard motors stolen from the property and untold years taken from the life span of the fleet from exposure to the elements thanks to outdoor storage. From a logistics standpoint, the ability to have pre-practice meetings and warmups inside supports a more ideal training flow, not to mention is friendlier on the neighbors who are fast asleep at practice time. With a permanent structure in place, we’ll next turn our attention to modernizing the fleet.
But for any of this to become a reality, we need your support! Our 2018 Capital Campaign is focused on accelerating the pace of construction on the boathouse and every dollar you give will make this more of a reality.
To that end, we want to give FSU Rowing Alumni and Friends an opportunity to have their support forever recognized at the boathouse through the “Wall of Honor”. Throughout this fall, a friend of the team has agreed to match your donation dollar for dollar up to $20,000! Here’s how it works: Make your tax deductable gift through this Go Fund me page, you’ll submit your gift amount and include your name and we will contact you for a message for a permanent marker displayed on the Wall of Honor inside the boathouse. The display plaques are etched metal and you’ll also receive a framed picture of the finished boathouse, recognizing your legacy to the team. The giving levels are:
Stewards: Gifts $250 or greater (3”x 8” sign)
Commodores: Gifts $750 or greater (4” x 8” sign)
Admirals: Gifts $1500 or greater (6” x 8” sign)
Founders: Gifts over $5000 (6” x 12” sign)
Rowing depends on philanthropy: the most successful, established, and rich programs got where they were from the generosity of others. For alumni, this is our time to step up and give. To give this generation of athletes the resources we wished we had. To give student athletes the gift of a lifelong sport, community, and source of pride. To give permanence to FSU Rowing and create a home we can all always come back to. Please join me in making your gift to Build the Boathouse and I hope to see many of you at Alumni Weekend in the fall!
FSU Rowing Class of ‘98
President FSU Rowing Alumni Association