December 2020

Dear CJRC Parents and Alumni,

    After cancelling our Spring season on March 13th, CJRC faced the daunting task of finding a way to stay afloat during a 6 month break from rowing.   Over 75 of our families generously donated their Spring Dues, a staggering $65,000, to cover on-going operational expenses.  This outpouring of generosity from parents, even as their children faced the bitter disappointment of a lost racing season, mirrored so many other selfless contributions of labor, time, and financial resources from past CJRC parents.  But even after 20 years of this, I still found myself in awe of our families’ shared passion for the club.

    Not to be outdone by their parents, our rowers organized and executed two efforts of their own.  The first was a small business of producing and selling out-door planter boxes, with all proceeds going to the club.  The second was an amazing event the weekend of our cancelled Midwest Championships.   Parents cooked hot meals, and the rowers delivered them to needy households, hospitals, and first responders throughout Newport and Covington.  Our rowers took what should have been their championship moment, and gave it to others.   What more can we ask of our youth?  Again, I found myself in awe of their efforts.

    As Fall approached, we prepared to get back to the business of rowing and racing.   With the help of CJRC alumni Joe Connelly, we established protocols to conduct practice safely, and to meet the guidelines set forth by both the Kentucky and Ohio High School Athletic Associations.  There would be no overnight regattas, no buses, and no seat-racing.  Practices would be more limited than in normal years, but the kids could row, and race head-to-head against other crews.  

    We participated in a series of dual races with other Ohio crews.  I will take a moment to note here that our CJRC boys and girls, varsity and novice, won every one of these dual races — often by unbelievable margins!  Our season finished with CJRC, Dayton Boat Club, and Westerville Crew competing in a championship race on the Licking River.  Masked spectators and coaches spread out along our banks to watch the girls compete for the Kelly Salchow McArthur Cup, and the boys win the Bryan Volpenhein Cup.

    As of this writing, USRowing says there will be a National Championship race in 2021.   We are working with Clermont County and the State of Ohio to safely hold the Cincy Invite in April, and Midwest Championship in May.  With a clear goal in mind, the rowers have now started preparing for Spring.   

    This winter the crews are participating in a “Valley Forge” style training camp — everything they do is outside, in the cold, and spread out along the banks of the Licking River.   We have boys and girls erging, running, and lifting weights while it is 30 degrees and snowing.  That feels like CJRC to me.  Many parents have already contributed to this Winter training camp: hand sanitizer, masks, face shields, yoga mats, and dumbbells.  We are essentially building an outdoor gym that I can’t imagine anyone but our rowers wanting to use.  That too feels like CJRC.

    It is clear that alumni and parent support of CJRC is critical to the program’s success. Dues cover the day-to-day operating expenses, but we still rely on donations from parents and alumni, to support the purchase of new boats, oars, and to make boathouse improvements. All of these things are vital to the club being competitive. This year, our goal is to raise $95,000 to purchase two new eights, 16 new oars, and to replace our 36 year old jet-float.  dock. The CJRC Board asks every family, who is financially able, to make a $450 donation — the cost of purchasing one oar. Every donation, no matter the amount, contributes to the club’s ongoing success and our desire to reach 100% participation in our fundraising efforts. Additional details to facilitate contribution can be found on the “DONATE” tab of the CJRC Website.  (link:  https://www.cjrc.us/donate)

    Please consider donating to the CJRC 2020/2021 Annual Fund, and help us keep the dream alive for future generations of rowers. Thank you for your contribution on their behalf.

Sincerely,   
Greg Hull
© 2021 Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club