Letter to Parents - September 2015

Hello Case Crew Parents!

My name is Doug Rathburn, and I am the president of the Spartan Alumni Rowing Association (SARA). I rowed for Case from 1994-1997 and as president of SARA I help organize alumni and parents, raise money for the team, help coordinate events, and maintain the SARA web site. SARA is its own 501(c)3 organization and works very hard via a dedicated board and members to support the team.

The team has provided your email address to me to make sure you were received communications about the team. If you havenít done so, please check out the SARA web site at: http://www.spartanalumnirowing.org/. If your spouse is not copied and youíd like them to be, please send me their email address. At any time youíd like to be dropped from the list just let me know as well. There are thousands of photos of the team over the years on the SARA web site, including the recent Head of the Cuyahoga, and is the de facto repository of all things Case Crew. The teamís web site at https://sites.google.com/a/case.edu/rowing/home is bare bones and not updated as frequently.

The only people on this email are parents for current rowers on the team so Iíve made the addresses visible if people need to reach out to one another. If there is anyone that would like to help coordinate events for parents at regattas or serve as a point person please let me know. Simply coordinating drinks and snacks for each race takes that burden off the coaches and students. So any level of involvement is appreciated.

Iíve had the pleasure of meeting many of you already, and I hope to meet more of you in the coming years. I send periodic emails throughout the school year about events and progress on the team. If I ever forget to mention that parents are invited to something please always assume you can come and participate. Our big events where we try and pull in alumni and parents are the Head of the Cuyahoga (3rd weekend in Sept), our Concept 2 January Erg Challenge, our alumni regatta in mid-April (it says alumni regatta, but parents are encouraged too), and the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia (early May).

This spring marks the 25th anniversary for Case Crew. Watching rowing in Cleveland grow over those 25 years has been amazing. Iím from the generation where we rowed in borrowed boats out of a dilapidated wooden shed, and before global warming chipped ice off the dock and ourselves in early spring. Uphill both ways in the snow kind of stuff.

The students now enjoy a phenomenal rowing facility, a full fleet of high caliber rowing shells, and a paid head coach. Almost all of this is due to the support of alumni and parents. We set up SARA in 2003 and I sent my first fundraising email in 2005. In 10 years weíve provided nearly $500,000 of support to the team. This in the context that the university gives less than $2000/year with the balance coming from student fundraising. All but three of the boats were 100% paid for by SARA as well as the coaching.

We do ask, but it is completely not expected for parents to give. There are many opportunities throughout the season to help if you can. Honestly, just supporting and encouraging your childís participation on the team is the biggest gift you can provide. Crew provides structure and a guiding light during a stressful, time-constrained undergraduate experience. I wonít bore you with the number of doctors, lawyers, professors, businessmen, entrepreneurs, etc that we count as crew alums. People that can juggle school and competitive team participation generally go on to be successful later in life and are sought after commodities in the job market.

One easy way to help us is to ensure that you always buy stuff on Amazon using the link on the SARA site. This is different than Amazon Smile. Smile only yields 0.5% of purchases, but we participate in another referral system with Amazon that generates us 6% on each purchase. So every time you think Amazon, just go to our site first and click the logo. Itís super easy and makes a huge difference to the team.

Weíve created a simple parent page here: http://www.spartanalumnirowing.org/SARA_parent.html.
It should help get you started with the sport and the team. If you have any further comments or questions please donít hesitate to email me or Aaron, the head coach.

Thanks and best regards,

Doug Rathburn '97
Spartan Alumni Rowing Association





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Last modified: September 29, 2015
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