By: Rachel Pettis & Erin Roche
On the racecourse RBC is notorious for cleaning up, leaving competitors behind with striped oars merely a blur. Off the water RBC cleans up just as well, showcased most recently at the Annual Stripes Gala. JL and dry-fit were nowhere to be found at this smart occasion as Riverside members gathered at the Royal Sonesta for a night of festivity, celebration and purpose.
The evening began with socializing and a silent auction boasting baskets of goodies assembled by each of Riverside’s competitive programs. Once all members had found their seats and the dinner courses were served, President Mike Farry took to the podium to introduce the evening’s speakers.
Liane Malcos Keister was first to address the crowd and gracefully recounted her trials and tribulations in her quest for a spot on the national team. Liane’s recollection spoke to the tenacity, bravery and strength it takes to train at the elite level, and what a significant role Riverside played and continues to play in her life.
Following Liane, Miranda Paris touched upon her early experiences at RBC leading to a career path never considered after a medical diagnosis ruled out her personal competitive aspirations. Rather than despairing Miranda found an alternative way to continue doing what she loves in the form of coaching. From her very first role in assisting with the RBC HPG men to her current position as head coach of the Georgetown Varsity Women, Miranda’s passion for the sport is unwavering and she too thanks Riverside for its continuous support.
In the wake of two equally resounding stories Mike Farry then summoned Jim Hanley to the floor to introduce the evening’s final speaker. Before handing over the mic, Mike first revealed to Jim that something very special and unprecedented was about to occur. The President proceeded to award Jim Hanley with the inaugural Riverside Lifetime Achievement Award for his continued leadership, support and love of RBC since 1972. It was hard to resist the wave of emotion reverberating from Jim as he accepted the award.
After thanking the club Jim left quite the act to follow as he introduced Doug Clark. Doug’s speech did not disappoint as he recounted his coaching years and emphasized the importance and application of hard work in rowing and in life. Doug challenged the audience to discern the types of motivation that drive success and encouraged all to, “Dream Big, Work Hard, and Have Fun”.
As the messages of Liane, Miranda and Doug lingered around the room a clear desire for the continued support of RBC arose during the live auction and pledges that followed. Thank you to the 85 attendees, those who donated tickets, anyone who helped with one of the team baskets, all volunteers, everything donated to the auction, all who pledged or bought an auction item. By the Gala’s end $45,000 was raised to help sustain and grow the club that we all know and love. Many thanks to all that took part in this wonderful occasion, greats things are certainly in store for 2015!