Before I tell you how much I love watching crew (and MAY soon become a crew member...that's RIGHT. It's perfect for us old broads...er "mature" folks too!), let me tell you about their fundraiser on June 30th. Lots of cool stuff for the whole family in one of the most beautiful venues in Buffalo, The West Side Rowing Club.(or consider a donation here, after you read on!)  AND incredible music by the extremely cool, kind and talented DJ SCAFETTA!! (Seriously FUN)

Photo by C.P. Abbott Photography

Being an emcee and West Side supporter all these years, I have been to dozens of fundraisers at The West Side Rowing Club for many fine causes. I always loved watching the crew work in synch against a beautiful sunrise, and you can't beat a sunset on the water with that long boat slicing through the river or lake. Now, y'all know I  say sometimes Church isn't "brick & mortar". Well I'm sure the Good Lord has blessed this place at the base of Porter Avenue.

This is where I was introduced to Nicole Chiarenza Roberts by her mom, my friend Linda. Being good deed doers must run in that family. Linda and I worked together for the many years she was Executive Director of West Side NHS, and now Nicole was heading up the aforementioned West Side Rowing Club Fundraiser on June 30th! Nicole's daughter Madeline joined the West Side Rowing Club awhile back.

In doing research for this piece, I've found out I like a whole lot more about rowing crew than just where it takes place. I really love the..uh...Zen of it, if you will. Let me explain.

"There are few better ways to learn the value of teamwork than being on a crew team. Every oar-stroke from every rower affects the boat’s success. So if a boat does well in a race, everyone shares in the glory. And no matter how strong or skilled one rower may be, he or she’s only as good as the rest of the boat. Hence, there are no superstars in crew." - Mary Rowen

Man is THAT a great metaphoric quote for what we all could use, eh?!  Work hard together with your mates. Believe in each other. Support each other and LISTEN. Of course, if someone shouted "STROKE" at me I'd grab my chest and have my "come to Jesus" moment. AHAHAHAAAA! (I crack me up sometimes) Here's more benefits from Granby Crew:

  • Crew is all about teamwork.  In this sport, you’ll make great friends.  And you’ll learn to work hard/well with others, a vital skill for any person.
  • Rowing is a total-body workout.  Crew creates great athletes, and everyone should be an athlete (not skinny, not “in-shape”, an athlete).
  • The benefits of exercise have been scientifically proven.  Some of that science has shown the benefits last for your entire life.  Working out is vital.  Crew just makes it fun.
  • Any sport builds confidence.  The drive to compete is essential to all of us.  Crew fine-tunes that desire, creating leaders and responsible individuals.
  • Crew is not a contact sport.  Rowing has its share of injuries, but broken bones, concussions, and anything else really severe can only happen if something goes wrong.
  • Any sport broadens your prospective on the world.  Life is not all Facebook and Xbox.  Try something new.
  • Crew can help you get into college.  Good schools are looking for students who are ready handle the many challenges of life.  Rowing presents plenty of challenges that help you prove yourself.

OH! Here's the cool thing...ANY age, 12 to death can do it! It works just the right, biggest muscle groups with low impact! I mean, I might suck at first but I can learn. Anyone, any age apparently can. Here's an article I read from the Washington Post: Rowing Crew at any age. and the Programs at West Side Rowing Club.  But I will leave you with pictures of Buffalo's awesome coastline and the extremely capable ladies of The West Side Rowing Club Youth Program, that include my new friend, Madeline Roberts

West Side Rowers, skull or sweep ON!!

- Jolene.Baller@Townsquaremedia.com