For one day, members of the men’s and women’s crew teams left the familiar confines of the Harry A. Green Rowing Facility and instead rowed outside of the Hemmingson Center on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the Row-A-Thon, the programs’ annual fundraising event.
The goal of Row-A-Thon is to raise money for new boats and equipment. For the first time, the teams added a community service component to the event. For every $10,000 that the teams raise, the athletes will volunteer 100 hours of service. This is not the first time the rowing teams have focused on community outreach. Every year, all Gonzaga student-athletes are encouraged to give back.
“The athletic department tracks all of the community service that is done, and then they turn that into the West Coast Conference (WCC),” Men’s Rowing Coach Dan Gehn said. “The WCC keeps track of everybody and by far, the GU Athletic Department has the most community service hours out of any of the schools in the WCC.”
The athletes said they hope the event will raise awareness about the rowing programs. In the past, Row-A-Thons have been held at the boathouse, the indoor rowing facility and even at the downtown mall.
This is the first time the event took place at the campus hub of activity. Thousands of students passed by the two lines of ergs (rowing machines) on their way to and from class. Empty ergs were available for any passing students or faculty to try.
“We are always trying to do something new and exciting, and we thought this would be good exposure for the team,” Gehn said. Our practice facilities and our race course is not on campus, so not everyone sees what we do.”
Both teams will race at the Head of the Spokane on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 9 a.m. on the Spokane River.