Anonymous donor gifts $25,000

An anonymous donor has agreed to support Rockland Rowing's community rowing efforts with a generous donation of $25,000.

Rowing Director Melissa Boyd said, "The gift is from a long-standing donor who understands the importance of philanthropy and the ongoing support needed for the growth and development of the programs we offer. We are extremely grateful to this donor for their generosity. Charitable contributions like this are a testament to the belief donors have in the mission of the RRA."

The donation is planned to fund the purchase of two Hudson doubles. The shells were new last year and used at the World Championships and University Games. The equipment will benefit the youth and adult programs directly. 

Crestron helps Rockland gross over $36,000

Nyack, NY - Over 100 people attended the Rockland Rowing Association's 11th annual Pull with Purpose Row-a-thon this past weekend to support fundraising efforts for a new grant program and much needed rowing equipment.  The event which took place in the Adler community room of the Palisades Center, grossed over $36,000 making it Rockland Rowing's most successful fundraiser event ever.  

Of the total raised, corporate sponsor Crestron Electronics generously donated $15,000 through a matching gift.  It will be allocated to a new grant program designed to encourage scholarship, athleticism, and involvement in rowing. “Crestron gave us a challenge that they would match any gifts made to RRA dollar for dollar up to $15,000. Everyone loves a challenge, and I commend our supporters for going above and beyond the campaign goal. We feel so fortunate to have Crestron as a steadfast partner who bestowed RRA with a matching gift for two consecutive years," said RRA rowing director Melissa Boyd.

Dan Feldstein, the COO of Crestron Electronics said, “Crestron is thrilled to continue our support of the Rockland Rowing Association.  We are very proud of the hard work and dedication of all of the participants in the Pull With Purpose row-a-thon for exceeding their fundraising goals and it is with great pleasure that we make our matching donation."

The remaining balance of $21,000 is slated for new equipment for the growing team such as boats and oars.  A new two-person shell can cost as much as $15,000 and a pair of sculling oars as much as $1,000. 

The Pull with Purpose event was established in 2006 as a charity row to sponsor community partners like the American Lung Association and the local Nyack Center.  Beginning in 2016, RRA focused fundraising efforts inwards to meet the needs of the growing rowing organization.  RRA continues to help local organizations in other ways by lending equipment and manpower.  This September RRA will provide outrigger canoes to the Nyack Center for their own fundraiser on the Hudson River.  The next RRA fundraiser will the the annual Thanksgiving pie sale in October.   


Winter Training Recap

Austin, Texas - In mid February, members of the Rockland Rowing competitive youth and adult teams had the opportunity to travel south for an important winter training trip in Austin, Texas. The purpose of the trip was to row on the water when it is otherwise too cold to row at home, improve physically and technically, and unite as a team in preparation for this spring’s competition schedule.  

Ten student-athletes and five adult rowers stayed at the Omni Hotel in downtown Austin, trained out of the Texas Rowing Center and rowed on Lady Bird Lake, which provides miles of sheltered rowable water with no motor boat traffic.  Rowing director and head coach Melissa Boyd had a specific practice schedule designed for the week long trip filled with plenty of steady state, drills, and pieces. The team practiced for two to three hours each morning and afternoon with team building outings and time to rest and recover in between practices.  

“This was our second trip to Austin,” commented coach Boyd, who is in her second year at the helm of the Rockland program. “Texas Rowing Center hosted us for the first time and gave us a warm welcome. They have boats, ample dock space and a 9,000-meter course, making it a great site for us.  The athletes sculled an impressive amount, over 100 miles in just six days.  It was a grind, but now the team is as fit as ever, battle tested, tight-knit, and ready for the sprint season.”

The competitive team has only a couple of weeks of indoor training remaining this winter season before transitioning to the calm waters of Rockland Lake.  The first scheduled spring race is April 22-23 in West Windsor, NJ.  

Barge for Adaptive Rowing

The Rockland Rowing Association is seeking to purchase a barge for use with both our adaptive teams and for helping teach novice rowers. While rowing is typically associated with sleek, narrow racing shells, there are situations where a stable barge is the better choice. Obviously, for would-be rowers who have little experience in the water, jumping right into a tippy rowing shell is not always the best approach to learning the sport. Working on the basics of rowing mechanics and spending some time on the water can be accomplished with a barge that is not only stable, but allows the coach to stand alongside the rowers and provide more direct instruction than is typically done from a launch moving alongside a rowing shell.

For the RRA, we have an even more compelling reason to obtain a barge. One of the programs we started in 2016 was an adaptive rowing team for those with developmental challenges. Working with our partner, the Rockland ARC, we have developed a program that met once a week all summer and fall. The rowers, some with autism, some with other developmental issues, have been having a grand time learning about rowing via land-based rowing machines. But, they all want to get on the water! To safely permit this group of rowers to row on the water, we need the stability and control afforded by a barge.

We have spoken to several potential rowing barge manufacturers, and have decided on a version made by Still Water that will cost us $25,000. This barge will accommodate 8 rowers at a time and can be expanded if necessary in the future by purchasing additional components. We are currently seeking donations to fund this purchase so that we can have the barge available for late spring. If you have any interest/ability to make a contribution, please contact our Director of Rowing, Melissa Boyd, at