Thank you and Happy Holidays!
As 2011 draws to a close, I just wanted to reach out to you and report on the year that was, and what lies ahead for Riverside in 2012.
2011 was a very busy year for our Club. On the rowing front, we started it by hiring new coaches for the men's High Performance Group (Bob Gillette) and
sculling group (Gordon Hamilton), and transitioned Jeff Forrester from sculling to men's sweep. As a result, Riverside produced its first ever U-23
internationals in Phil Grisdela and Phil Henson; a first time national team appearance for Kyle Lafferty; and placed third in the senior men's eight at the Royal
Canadian Henley Regatta.
Meanwhile, the women's high performance group produced a worlds medalist in Hillary Saeger; a fall speed order winner in Alexis Sneff;and THREE RBC
Alumni medalled at the 2011 World Championships (Esther Lofgren and Meg Musnicki won gold in the women's eight, and Natalie Dell won silver in the
women's quad). The sweep women put a crew in the final of the women's eight and women's quad at the Royal Canadian Henley, and won a medal at the
Charles. Finally Jim McGaffigan defended his title in the senior master's single at the Charles, while Captain Sean Wolf increased his medal count once more.
That's a pretty good year--and this comes nowhere near listing all the highlights of this racing season.
One of the reasons this annual appeal comes so late in the year is that we spent the last few months of 2011 putting together a development team to help us
plan a future for Riverside that extends well past our 150th anniversary in 2021. We are very excited and fortunate to have Dick Garver and Lisa Kunze
heading up the development committee, and Lynn Osborn working for us in a development coordinator/consultant role. Our boathouse is going to turn one
hundred years old in 2012, and it was about time that we began charting its course for the years that follow. Over the next few months, we will collecting and
presenting data to the membership that will help us form a cohesive vision for the future of our club.
Of course, 2011 was not without its challenges. The brutal winter of 2010/2011 resulted in severe damage to our porch, threatening a delayed opening to the
2011 rowing season. Thanks to Mary O'Neill and Cindy Larson we were able to put a temporary repair in place, while Sean Wolf worked tirelessly to manage
the logistics of getting people on the water without the use of porch. Once the temporary repair was in place, the porch team worked on producing a plan for a
permanent repair. And this is where the really challenging part comes in. The cost of the permanent repair is very likely to be more than $200,000.
While some of this amount may covered by insurance, some of it might have to come out of our relatively shallow pockets. So this, dear friends, is where you
come in.Over the past few years, many of you have given to Riverside, both to the endowment and to support our athletes going to World Championships.
The participation rate has varied, but has generally been much higher for the Worlds Fundraising. This holiday season, I ask you to give something to the
future of this club.
Helping us build the endowment will help us with both the short term projects like rebuilding the porch, and longer term facility improvements to sustain
Riverside for years to come. And if you don't have a lot of money left this season, that's fine. Give something. I want us to have a participation rate of 90% or
higher.Having part of many heated discussions about the direction of the club in the last few years, I know you care. Show it in your support.Riverside is a
501c3 non-profit, and your contribution is tax deductible. You can also send checks to Riverside Boat Club, 769 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02139.
Finally, I'd like to close out this letter by thanking a few more people. Fred Good, our treasurer for the last seven years, no longer holds the office, but without
his tireless work, the Club would not be where it is today. We've nearly doubled our operating budget and the size of our endowment since he took over in
2004. The club officers no longer have to pass piles of paper around to run the day to day operations of the club, and we wouldn't be able to collect dues and
ask for your support online--tasks that will make the Treasurer's work much easier than when Fred took the reigns. Fred's also been instrumental in helping
bring Chris Dyke on board as the new treasurer. I would also like to thank Chris Daly of the Presidents Committee for helping with this transition, and helping
create a Treasurer's road map for the future. Thank you also to Sarah Potts, outgoing chair of the Regatta Committee--the Cromwell Cup has grown leaps and
bounds since she took over as chair. Thanks to Amelia Booth for her service as head of the Social Committee--Riverside's become a pretty fun place during
your reign. Kate Sullivan deserves our gratitude for her tenure as head of the Community Relations Committee--our relationshipwith our neighbors has never
been better. And, of course, thank you to the countless volunteers and coaches that help run this place on a day-to-day basis, and make Riverside the
amazing club that it is.
President, Riverside Boat Club