The Island Foundation of Marion has awarded New Bedford Community Rowing $10,000 to support our mission of bringing Olympic-style rowing to the South Coast – particularly to under-served communities on the South Coast.
Founded in 1979 by W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. and Mary H. Clark, the Island Foundation aims to serve the community by “reacting to the needs of the community, but also providing leadership grants and taking chances other foundations might be unwilling to consider.
“We are extraordinarily grateful for this award and for the confidence in our programs that it demonstrates,” said NBCR Chair Laurie Bullard.
Established in 2010 as a partnership between the City of New Bedford and Community Rowing Inc. of Boston, New Bedford Community Rowing is working to introduce South Coast residents – particularly New Bedford youth – to the sport of rowing and to develop New Bedford as a premier venue for rowing races.
“Experience has taught us that rowing not only fosters personal growth, physical health, and teamwork, it also opens doors to private secondary education, higher education, and college scholarships,” NBCR Executive Director Anne Eisenmenger said in explaining the focus on youth. “While the explosion of collegiate women’s crew as a result of Title IX makes this especially true for girls, a good male high school rower will find himself getting calls from schools he never even dreamed of contacting himself.”
Summer 2012 programming at New Bedford Community Rowing includes three, week-long clinics for youth, provided in conjunction with the New Bedford Department of Parks and Recreation; monthly Learn to Row Days; ongoing Introduction to Rowing classes; and regular youth and adult rowing programs.
In addition, we are providing weekly rowing instruction to all ninth grade students in New Bedford’s summer Sea Lab program.
Moving into the fall, we are working with area school departments to establish school-based rowing teams.
The Island Foundation award is the largest of four generous donations we have has received this summer. Other support includes:
- BayCoast Bank awarded NBCR $2,000 to support summer programming. Those funds allowed us to make the summer clinics and other summer rowing available to all interested youths, regardless of ability to pay.
- Resolute Racing Shells of Bristol, R.I., one of the country’s premier manufacturers of elite racing shells (as sliding-seat rowing boats are called), gave us a reconditioned four-person Resolute racing shell. Rowers refer to the newest addition to the organization’s fleet as “the Ferrari.”
- Deerfield Academy donated a used 8-person shell and a used 4-person shell. Their addition to the fleet allows us to easily accommodate a large number of rowers in our increasing variety of learn-to-row programs.
In addition to offering rowing programs to those who contact New Bedford Community Rowing, we have an active outreach program – visiting New Bedford Housing Authority sites, the Boys & Girls Club, schools, and various fairs and festivals.
Said Head Coach and Program Director Cheyenne Bayse: “It’s wonderful to be able to introduce anyone to rowing. It’s particularly rewarding to introduce the sport to kids who would never have discovered it on their own, and to see it truly change their lives.”
For more information on New Bedford Community Rowing, contact Executive Director Anne Eisenmenger at 508-717-9799.
For more on the Island Foundation, contact email@example.com.