It is a longstanding tradition in the boating world to provide each vessel with a name. Sometimes people choose to use the name as a vanity license plate, and some choose to describe the boating experience. Some are named for the person who donated the boat, and some are named with clever (or not so clever) puns.
There once was a lady named Barbara who nagged her husband to name their new boat after her. She persisted, insisted and never desisted until one day, her husband asked her to come and see the freshly-painted name on the transom. There in big, bold letters was “Barbarian”
|Flying Fitz||The Sutton||The Nosal|
|Go Qik||Hilda's Stardust||Frosted II|
We at Saratoga Rowing have made it a tradition to name the shells we purchase in honor of those members of our community who have impacted SRA through their generous donations of time, talent, and treasure. When a boat is to be named, I contact the person who we would like to honor and ask them how they would like to be honored on the shell. The following are the shells names for dedication at the 2012 Silent Auction:
This girls eight is named in honor of Joanie Fitzhenry. Joanie served a few terms on the SRA board, and served as president for a term. She even extended her presidency beyond the graduation of her children in order to make the transition to the new president a smooth one. I am especially grateful to Joanie for her competitive perspective though the years. Joanie was always a great advocate for the kids and for opportunities for all, but she also embraced that rowing is a competitive sport and that is extremely important. We all love to celebrate the successes of the team and take pride in the strength of the program, but we also have to remember that those successes require hard work, investment, and sacrifices. In an era where grades are inflated and medals are given out to everyone, it was crucial for SRA to have a president that could understand the competitive nature of the sport and that that which is achieved in this sport must be earned. She also was a big advocate for racing and for raising the competitive standards of the club. I remember distinctly the day we returned from the Club Nationals and she said, next year we need to qualify twice as many kids. She knew the standards of the regatta, and did not take the “lets only spend the time/money if we can win” mentality, but rather she believed that qualifying, attending, and experiencing that level of competition (even if we lost) would enhance the competitive experience of the athletes and the exposure of SRA. She understood that there is value in putting yourself out there and that while winning is the goal, the pursuit and the striving and the failing and the growing are the true benefits of our sport.
This boys quad is named in honor of Mark and Kim Sutton. Mark and Kim have both been instrumental in the growth of SRA. Over the years, their company – Advantage Press - has done printing for SRA and for our regattas (usually with very little notice) and they have both been very active volunteers. In fact, as our regattas became more professional and we purchased a race course, Mark could be seen out in a little johnboat hauling up anchors and tugging on lane lines during the installation of the course, and then he was a fixture at the finish line with a good set of binoculars and a booming voice calling out the order of the boats crossing the line. Most of the time he would be calling that order directly to his wife Kim who was also working in timing. In addition to all the regatta work, Kim spent time on the board of directors. Previously a boys four had been named in honor of Mark and Kim, (who supplemented the purchase price for the upgrade to a higher level boat). When we recently sold this four as part of an equipment turnover schedule, we decided this family has been so instrumental in SRA that we wanted to continue to honor them and their example of volunteerism for another generation of equipment.
This Boys quad is named in honor of Leo Nosal. Over the years, Leo, through the use of his property, has provided tremendous opportunity to SRA. One of SRA’s goals is to make Saratoga Springs a rowing destination in the US. As the owner of Lee’s Park, Leo has understood this vision and has been a vital partner to the program. Financially, the regattas are the life-blood of our organization. Recognizing this, Leo has been generous to reserve space on his property on which these regattas can take place. While Leo does not have any children in the program, he is one of the most invested members of the community in SRA. What I appreciate most, however, is the friendship and generosity he has shown to Chase and me as we have worked to build SRA into its current state. Outside of the regattas, Leo can be counted on to help out at a moments notice. Whether it be dropping everything to help us get our truck unstuck, our docks lifted, loaning us trailers, or providing us storage space, Leo is always willing to help when called upon. I am so glad to have him as a neighbor to our organization, and I really appreciate his integrity. He is a man of his “word”. To Leo, a handshake and a promise are equivalent to a contract written by a team of lawyers. This level of integrity and neighborly generosity makes it an honor to be able to call him a friend. I also appreciate that he gives me Venison jerky after a good season.
This girls quad is named in honor of Kim Greico. Kim chose the name “Go QIK” to stand for the members of her family who have all been connected deeply to SRA (Greg, Isabella, Quentin, and Kim). Kim served as President of the SRA board (and continues to serve on the board). During her time as president, I cannot even count the number of times I sought her council on many types of decisions. Kim has an amazing gift of being able to help sift through the decision process, but at the same time remain impartial to the decision and allow the coaching decisions to be made by the coaches and the Director decisions to be made by the director. Her cool head and intellect helped SRA and me immensely during her time as president. While the pressures of being the Executive Director and the responsibility of the position can be weighty, it is easily balanced by the opportunity to work with the different board presidents from whom I learn volumes. I felt so fortunate to work with Kim during that time, that I dropped more than one hint that she should consider being president again in a few years. For now, however, Kim has been busy planning this amazing event (2013 Silent Auction) and while I don’t get to meet with her as often, I continue to see the quality of her leadership and communication in action.
Where many of the parents of former rowers who are honored have also been board members, there are sometimes a few who have been such amazing volunteers for SRA that their legacy needs to remain, and their story needs be told. Wendy was one of those volunteers. Wendy brought a new level of sophistication to our regatta timing through her tireless hours of organization as well as getting right down into the programming code of our timing software. As if those kinds of skills are not enough, Wendy would just as easily don the gardening gloves and spend an afternoon planting and transplanting and soliciting donations of flowers and mulch. Each day she came into SRA to help out for a few hours I was again impressed with another skill set of Wendy’s. (I can understand how her children went to MIT and Cornell). Then, when asked how we could name this girls double in her honor, Wendy impressed me again with her vision of the strengths of the club and the personal connection from whom she draws that inspiration. In Wendy’s words “The name that we chose is “Hilda’s Stardust.” Hilda was Ken’s mom, and my memories of her are inexorably intertwined with my family’s experiences at SRA. Hilda was Jewish, and many of her relatives had been persecuted and killed during the programs and wars of the 20th century. Yet despite this, or possibly because of this, Hilda was one of the most inclusive people I have ever known. In her eyes, everyone was equal, and she believed that everyone contributed to the fabric of life. She did not see religion, or color, or sexual preference, or economic status – she just saw a human being. She liked pretty much everyone, she loved a few, and she always, unfailingly, treated everyone with respect. She didn’t expect everyone to be the best – she just expected them to be the best that they could be. I thought about how similar SRA and Hilda were in spirit on the day that Hilda went into the hospital for the final time. Ken and I were volunteering in the timing tent during a typical cold and blustery Head of the Fish race day. After the phone call, I stood outside of the tent looking at the lake – this was back when the finish line was on the other side of the bridge – thinking that Hilda would have loved to have been there, to be part of an organization that operated on her standards of inclusiveness and respect for all. That memory has never left me.
As for the Stardust – one of Casey’s chemistry professors started his first lecture by saying “We are all made of stardust.” When Casey told me that, it also made me think of Hilda – who was not a chemistry professor, but in her heart knew that we were all pieces of the same fabric of the universe. The name is a tribute to both Hilda and SRA, to honor their belief in, and dedication to, a culture of inclusiveness.”
I hope this name will continue to impress upon us at SRA the value of inclusiveness and the importance of respect toward one another.
An architect and an artist, Tom has given large portions of his life to the rowing community of Saratoga. By first starting SSRC and the Head of the Fish regatta, Tom built the foundation for the resurgence of Saratoga Springs as a rowing venue. Through the years he has tirelessly designed the most coveted t-shirts and the most coveted trophies (from the Head of the Fish) as well as the most coveted buildings in Saratoga – including our boathouse. From my perspective I see Tom’s fingerprints all over the place in Saratoga. While SRA has taken over the running of the Head of the Fish, Tom continued to make the trophies for the past few years. This year we began the transfer of trophy making and we had the privilege of learning the process from Tom. One night of trophy making and I quickly began to understand the time and effort Tom put into this process, and why he is one of the most skilled artisans in our community. To name this double in honor of Tom Frost and his dedication and commitment to the rowing community is only part of the story. I hope that this will also inspire us to follow in Tom’s footprints and pursue excellence in every detail.
If ever there was a model of a community minded individual, it is Scotty Clark. If there is an event in Saratoga (any event) you can be assured that Scotty Clark was there helping set it up. He continually goes above and beyond for SRA… and he doesn’t event have a child on the team nor does he row himself. He is simply a friend of SRA and a friend of all of us who work at SRA. For each of our regattas, Scotty takes a day or two off work and puts in long hours setting up, all weekend, and then returning all the rented equipment on the Monday following. Always working with a smile, Scotty is a fixture at the regattas that the participants have come to appreciate as much as we at SRA. In fact, for a guy who has no ties to SRA beyond friendship, I am proud that he is known to the much of the rowing community as a face of SRA. He is both hard working and easy going, always positive and encouraging. I really enjoy the time he hangs around SRA not just for his friendship, but also because I think he is a tremendous role model for the kids in the program. As if that was not enough, just last month when the Girls traveled to Australia, we left from Albany airport. Of course all the parents (and a few grandparents) were there to see them off. Also, there at the airport, was Scotty C wishing us safe travels and fast racing.
This Pocock four is named in honor of Lorraine Skibo. Lorraine chose the name “Prospero”. Prospero was a character from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. A complicated character, Prospero took control of his destiny. He lost a dukedom and was imprisoned on an island. While there he learns the white magic of nature and comes to rule over the island. He eventually becomes a beneficent ruler who is both loving and forgiving. I particularly appreciate that he dealt with adversity, and turned a negative situation into a positive one. When he became powerful again he did so justly, and intelligently.
I don’t even know where to start in describing Lorraine. She is one of the most dedicated athletes I know. Most of us who love to workout often do so with the help of others. We like training with a group or going to the gym. Lorraine can train just as hard as anyone I know, and she trains on her own in her house and in her single. I am continually impressed each time I see her walking down the long steep hill from her house on America Way down to the river with the single on her head (actually walking back up is more impressive). Just in case her skills as a Masters Rower were not enough, Lorraine is a brilliant radiologist and one of the great amateur chefs in the area. When Bean Tarrant drools at the thought of Lorraine’s homemade bread – you know it is something special. While none of her children row for SRA anymore, Lorraine continues to be one of the most influential people in our organization. She is one of our most dedicated volunteers in the timing tent usually putting in 12-20 hours at every regatta. Those hours, however, pale in comparison to the hours she puts into grant writing for the organization. While she has not chosen her own name to go on the shell… I am eager to share stories of Lorraine and hopeful that the girls of SRA will – like Prospero - never take a victim mentality and thrive regardless of the situation in which they find themselves. I also hope they grow up to be just like Lorraine.
This boys double is named after Zbigniew Grabowski. Zbig was born in Poland, where he learned to row as a young man. He left behind Poland, and rowing, for many years. After this long absence, he decided to take up the sport he loved once again last year. Zbig visited Saratoga to purchase a boat and talk about rowing. He was great to have conversations with, and it was clear that his passion for rowing never subsided. Unfortunately, Zbig passed this winter. Before doing so, he donated his double to the Saratoga Rowing Association. His gracious gesture will carry his name on for years to come.
This single is named in honor of Fred Cole. Fred was one of the first presidents of SRA. After a fast and furious start to the grass roots program, Fred began the process of organizing the program and helping it become a bit more professional. He advocated strongly for coaching pay (for which we are greatly appreciative) and enabling the coaches to invest time and energy into the program. Fred’s influence on the program continues to direct the mindset of the club – SRA is a strong believer that the coaching is the most important part of the program. Where many clubs invest their resources in equipment we at SRA have held firm on the belief that, in the end, the most important impact on the kids is not the shells they row, but the coaches who invest themselves in the kids and the program. It was also Fred who gave us the confidence to take on running the State Championships regatta. Fred is also involved heavily in the speed skating club, and his confidence in timing (a much faster paced event) gave us the confidence we could time an event like the State Championships. While we are now a very different type of club than the speed skating club, I am extremely thankful for Fred Cole’s leadership during the early years and his ability to bring his knowledge of what works from the very successful speed skating club into our organization.
This lightweight single is named in honor of Tony Stellato. The name ALCALYN is a combination of the names of his three daughters who came through the program. Alex, Casey, and Lynda. Tony has been influential in SRA for over a decade now I believe! A rower himself, he has served a few terms on the SRA board and continues to work with the SRA properties – especially the sculling pavilion. Tony also serves as a regatta dock master (one of the most demanding jobs). We are excited to be able to dedicate this particular shell in his honor because I am sure he will get to row it extensively himself. Before moving on to our next shell dedication, I would like to call attention to an article Tony wrote for the Rowing News Magazine. I return to that article every once in a while for a little pull on the heart strings. Thanks Tony, for all you have done, for your perspective, and for all you continue to do!
This Single is named in honor of John Falvo (dad of current coach Nicole Falvo). The Falvo’s were a rowing family. Over the years we have had hundreds of families go through the SRA program. Sometimes it is just the child who connects, and spends time at SRA, and sometimes we get an entire family. We love those families, and the Falvo’s were just that type of family. John served on the Board of Directors, he also was a long time dock master for SRA regattas. Julia served on a lot of committees and helped with several aspects of the regattas as well. When we built the boathouse we made a lot of connections through John and his company to supply some of the needs of the boathouse.
Interestingly, there is a unique connection between some of the honorees this year. Stellato, Falvo, Cole: all were rowing families, and all had a child who gave back to SRA as well by becoming a coach. These are truly stories of wonderful parents giving back and at the same time modeling that generosity and community focused mindset for their children. It is not surprising that children of these families end up giving back to SRA as well. I want to thank the Falvo family not only for their individual service to SRA, but for their tremendous modeling of civic behavior for their children
This men’s pair/double is named in honor of Keith Alber. Keith was the varsity boys coach for SRA for several years. I felt it fitting to name a pair/double in his honor because Keith did some of his best training in a pair. His example of collegiate rowing extending into pre-elite rowing made quite an impression on me. The story of finding a rowing partner in college and pursuing a rowing dream in the smaller boats is inspirational. That kind of love for the sport and commitment to training and continued approach is something that gets lost in our current sporting environment. When he graduated college, it was not an end for Keith. If you loved rowing in college, there is no reason why you cannot continue and why you cannot continue at a high level. All too often collegiate rowers see graduation as the end of this pastime they have enjoyed for 4-10 years. Keith continued to train and race as he moved into the “real” world. Keith brought a great enthusiasm to the Varsity Boys of Saratoga, he coached several national medalists, and he showed how one can make time for the things in life which are important to you. During his time at SRA, he held a full time job, was married with 2 kids, coached for 12-15 hours a week, and continued to train on his own for rowing, biking or triathlon. This ability to make time for that which he valued was inspirational to me, and a great lesson for those with whom he worked.
This uniquely colored single is named in honor of two SRA members who, in their short tenure as part of the SRA family impacted SRA greatly. (Both Erin and Adam passed away young. Erin in a car accident and Adam while hiking in Alaska.)
When SRA first began… I mean day one… it was an idea in the minds of a few kids. When Erin Fay joined SRA quickly steamrolled into one of the largest and most successful teams in the state. If you have ever read “Tipping point” by Malcolm Gladwell, you will understand when I say that Erin was the early tipping point for SRA. Erin Fay was not only one of the most popular girls at school, she was also the most athletic. She was a star athlete in several sports. When the program started, and we were rowing shells that were made out of more duct tape than carbon fiber – Erin, by joining, immediately brought legitimacy to this new sport. One could not ask for a greater beginning to a program. Erin’s effervescence, athleticism, popularity, and tenacity created the perfect situation for SRA to flourish in those first years. While most programs struggle through the first years and the “humble beginnings”, SRA may have been short on resources… but SRA started with over 100 students. Erin’s acceptance of the program was the tipping point for that.
Adam started rowing in the early stages of SRA as well. In fact, when I started coaching the boys in 1998, he was on my first varsity boys boat. He combined tremendous athleticism with a passion for the team and a passion for his friends. And while his time at SRA brought about the rise of the boys program (which didn’t get off to as quick a start as the girls), what I remember most is Adam’s continued connection to the program long after graduation. Every year at Head of the Fish, Adam would return to Saratoga and spend the weekend helping set up for the regatta and helping as a marshal or a dock master or wherever he was needed. Each year he would be back from some grand adventure.,and I always looked forward to finding out what he was up to. All that great stuff… and actually, what I really want to relay, is a story from our office manager Susan. Susan started working with SRA just before the Head of the Fish – so she was in for a surprise when this nice little NFP turned into a ZOO right after she joined. I would have tried to assure her that she made the right choice with this job… but I am generally oblivious, and especially during the weeks before a regatta. When Adam showed up to help prepare for the Head of the Fish, and Susan was struggling to stay afloat under the tidal wave that just hit her, he took time to sit down and get to know her. I think this time and Adam's presence reassured her that what we do here is worth the craziness. In his Adam Webb way, he would come off some grand adventure and then just sit and be “present” with his friends. I think actually, that might be the word for it. Adam was always fully present. Whether off on his own in the wilderness, or sitting across the table from you. He was there fully present in the moment and in the experience. In todays society of texts and emails and connection to everyone. Adams ability to connect individually and to be present in every situation is one I strive to match myself.
SRA has had on our mind the idea of an adaptive program to further meet the needs of the potential rowing community. After a few rounds of grant writing to different organizations, we found a partner in this endeavor with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. The Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. With the funding generously obtained through the quality of life grant, we were able to purchase this adaptive rowing shell, and, in our first season of adaptive rowing, we had 9 participants. 4 of those participants trained regularly and 3 of those participants competed at regattas we hosted during the fall. We are so thankful that the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation granted us with the funding to purchase this shell and enable the beginning of the only adaptive rowing program in upstate NY.
(not all of these boats were purchased in 2011... many had been in the boathouse and undedicated for a few years - a definite no-no in the boating world)
Artemis (Michele Brown: Chelsea)
This varsity girls eight is named in honor of Michele Brown. Michele chose the name Artemis because as she explained to me: Artemis is the Goddess of light and a Huntress. She is independent, beautiful and wild. She teaches leadership and focus. Artemis blesses you with strength, courage and help in reaching your goals. These are the values and strengths that we as a club have taught many young men and women and these are the values I wish to preserve long after I have left this organization. We wanted to honor Michele with the opportunity to name a shell in thanks to the tireless work she did as the board president last year. Michele oversaw a huge restructuring of our accounting practices while we transitioned to Susan. For a few months, we were without an office manager, and I personally want to thank Michele for her support during that time. She recognized the difficulty I was having trying to manage both Susan’s full time job as well as my own. Michele put in several hours each week during this difficult time and really carried the business of SRA on her back for a couple months. I think the name she chose fitting, not only because it represents an ideal for the girls, but also because I consider Michele a real life Artemis herself.
Logan's Row (Joe Logan: Jessie, Jaime)
This varsity boys eight is named in honor of Joe Logan. This naming has been a long time coming. (if only shells were cheaper and we could afford to get them when we wanted to honor people). Joe has been on the list of honorees for a few years now. While we usually name the shells for club presidents, every so often there are others who give so generously of themselves, the tradition extends beyond the presidency. Joe is definitely one of these cases. All of us now who have only known SRA in the wonderful boathouse facility may not realize that it was Joe who spearheaded the construction of the boathouse. Joe took on almost a full time general contractor’s role in his spare time to see this boathouse come to fruition. What an amazing legacy to leave behind! Joes work will have a tangible significant impact on the youth of SRA for years to come.
The Bambara Family (Nancy Bambara: Meghan, Andrea)
This varsity girls eight has been named in honor of Nancy Bambara. As president, Nancy oversaw the capital campaign that funded the boathouse. She kept us on task and connected us to many influential people with the ability to help drive the project. She also organized the campaign to get Nationals to Saratoga. Her tireless work advocating for SRA among the influential people in the city of Saratoga Springs enabled us to achieve these two major goals of a boathouse and hosting the national championship. Nancy also helped establish the organization and practices of SRA into the model that currently allows us to function in the business model we now operate. As if that was not enough, after her presidency we needed to restructure our accounting practices as we transitioned between office managers. Nancy put in a few weeks of work to completely reorganize our books. She remains one of our most important advisors as we plan for future endeavors.
The Dean Family (Paul Dean: Erica, Vanessa)
This varsity girls quad has been named in honor of Paul Dean. Paul was co-president with Nancy and while his tenure in leadership of SRA was cut short by a promotion that moved him to Michigan, His role in the boathouse capital campaign was critical. Whether securing in-kind donations, or his help in organizing the campaign, we could not have built this boathouse in such a timely and effective manner without Paul’s leadership. SRA is greatly appreciative of his role with Nancy during that critical time and I am especially appreciative of his role in recruiting me back to Saratoga as executive director.
The Spirit of '08 (Bianka Krueger: Courtney)
This varsity girls quad has been named in honor of Bianka and Dean Kreuger. Bianka, while not a president, like Joe, filled such a vital role to SRA that we wanted to honor that commitment. For several years, Bianka was our regatta committee chair. She oversaw the setup as well as the race day organization of the infrastructure. Bianka organized the committee heads meetings, and she was the one who had the “port-a-potty guy” and “hay guy” on speed dial. Bianka became such a fixture at regattas that she may have been the most recognized member of our organization by the visiting crews. I considered bronzing a pair of rubber boots for her, but ultimately decided on the boat naming. While Bianka was busy out in the mud, Dean was helping SRA figure out how to use our computers and use the internet rather than trying to race times around on a sheet of paper with bicycle.
Toga Coaches (Rick Leonard: Christine, Dan)
This varsity boys double has been named in honor of Rick Leonard. Rick as a former president laid groundwork for boathouse (I remember sketching drawings with him back in 2003). Rick taught me a lot about method and organization, from designing docks to beginning SRA in acting like a business and writing budgets, I consider Rick to be one of the most influential people in helping me to learn to run a business. Rick’s attention to detail and his amiability in the leadership role really set the tone for SRA as we managed the jump from grass roots to organization. Previously an eight, which served SRA for many years (and was recently sold) was named in honor of Rick. So important was he to SRA, we decided to preserve the name through another generation of equipment.
Mike & Marcia Champagne (Mike Champagne: Ryan)
This varsity boys double is named for Mike Champagne. Mike was the first president of SRA back when it was “fly by the seat of the pants”. Mike was prepared to fill any role necessary. As a carpenter, Mike was in the trenches working on equipment (most of our boats were part wooden then!). I appreciated his -let’s make it happen- attitude. He was a president of action and by his example could get the ball rolling on pretty much any project. Back when Chase and I were too young to know better, Mike’s truck often came to save the day when we tried to pull our trailer with Chase’s jeep. Previously an eight, which served SRA for many years (and was recently sold) was named in honor of Mike. So important was he to SRA, we decided to preserve the name through another generation of equipment.
Jim Lister (coach)
This varsity girls pair is named in honor of Jim Lister. Jim was the first hired coach of SRA. SRA was fortunate to find Jim in the area and willing to work with a group who had no idea what they were doing. Chase began the team in 1997 with no rowing knowledge whatsoever. Chases brilliance came in his ability to rely on Jims expertise, and learn what a crew team was all about. It was Jim’s knowledge of the sport and its traditions and its culture that set the tone of SRA. So great was that beginning, SRA quickly grew to the largest and most successful high school team in the state even with such little experience at the front end. Jim is currently a coach at Duke University and continues to be a great friend to Chase, myself, SRA, and any of the early generation SRA members. Previously an eight, which served SRA for many years (and was recently sold) was named in honor of Jim. So important was he to SRA, we decided to preserve the name through another generation of equipment.
Ben & Marcy Serotta (Mike: Anna, Emily)
This varsity girls pair is named in honor of Marcie Serotta. While the details of the milestones that were accomplished while Marcie was on the board are not easily recognizable, I am confident that Marcie glued SRA together over the course of several years. Each of Chase, Jim, and I as young single guys relied on Marcie as a confidant over the years, her wisdom was sought on many of the decisions we made - Jim and I especially. Whether they were personal decisions or club related decisions Marcie was a sounding board and it was with the wisdom of her advice that many of the early decisions for SRA were made. Marcie always had time to speak with the membership of SRA and she continues to be a proponent of rowing for us. We had a learn-to-row girl this summer who came on Marcie’s advice. Previously an eight, which served SRA for many years (and was recently sold) was named in honor of Marcie. So important was she to SRA, we decided to preserve the name through another generation of equipment.
This varsity girls pair is named in honor of Dennis deJonghe. While Dennis was a president during the critical boathouse planning time, and while Dennis has and continues to donate beautiful and valuable items to SRA for fundraising. I actually want to acknowledge a more subtle, but tremendously important role that Dennis filled. For several years, Dennis made our Senior banquet videos. These were near professionally made videos that encapsulated hundreds of hours of video shot over the year. Dennis captured the moments that reminded us how much of a family we had become. To this day, any of those SRA kids can tell you of their favorite scenes in the Crew Dad Videos. Dennis had a knack for noticing the interactions between people and highlighting the fun and exciting shared moments. His role on the board was similar. Dennis could gather a group of people and make collaboration and project completion a fun (and funny) experience. His infectious enthusiasm on the mud-pit that is states was enough to make every day a great day for SRA. Previously an eight, which served SRA for many years (and was recently sold) was named in honor of Dennis. So important was he to SRA, we decided to preserve the name through another generation of equipment.
This varsity girls pair is named in honor of Cheryl and Dennis Conway. As with Bianka, Cheryl and Dennis were critical to SRAs regatta operations. Cheryl handled much of the setup for the regattas, working from Friday morning the day before the regatta right through to Sunday afternoon. She was there for every minute. Cheryl was also the first line of defense and the smoother of ruffled feathers when it came to regatta participants, vendors, and spectators. She could hear concerns, address concerns, and occasionally put people in their place – all with a smile and a ear to listen. While Cheryl was on land, Dennis was often on the water. It was his role as the connector to the police dept, DOT, parks, sheriffs, etc… that really helped our regattas grow exponentially and not scare off the powers that be. Dennis could always find a way to get the permits, protection, permissions, and infrastructure needed to run these major events