While the lightweight crew team rowed on Cross Campus for 12 hours Monday, its boat didn’t move an inch. But to recipients of its charitable efforts, it may have gone the distance.
In an effort to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that has granted over 110,000 children with a life-threatening medical condition a “wish” of their choosing, the team took turns rowing on a machine from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Some of the 45 crew members rowed for half hour shifts while others asked for donations from students walking to and from classes.
Team members rowed in the morning while students rushed to their first classes. They were rowing midday while masses of Yalies walked to and from lunch, and they were still rowing in the evening in the glow of the lights from Berkeley and Calhoun. By the end of the day, they had rowed almost 120 miles.
Crew members said Yale students responded generously. The team said that they had aimed for $1,000, and as of Monday night, the team did not know the exact amount they raised, but lightweight crew team member Andrew Klaber ’04 estimated that it was over $1,000.
As athletes without much free time, members of the lightweight crew said that they were happy to spend a day fundraising for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“The NCAA gives us one day off a week, and what better way to spend a day off than this?” Klaber said while he was on the rowing machine.
Other members of the team said they shared similar sentiments.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” crew team member Alex Ramsay ’05 said. “To have a hope fulfilled certainly makes a difference.”
Team member Trevor Young ’06 said the team engages in charitable activities every year. He said last year the team went to a hospital with a program called “Bulldogs for Kids.”
“Our coach is a big proponent of helping,” Young said.
Coach Andrew Card said he gave his full support for this activity.
“We are fortunate to compete, to have four limbs and five senses, even if we lose a race or two,” he said. “There are others without the opportunity to do that.”
While Card said that Klaber was the “driving force” behind this fundraiser, Klaber gave credit to others on the team.
“I think it says a lot about our coach and captain and the other guys on the team for supporting [this fundraiser],” Klaber said.
Klaber said this “charitable training” was team members’ way of fulfilling their “responsibility as athletes.”
“We have a multi-million dollar boathouse,” he said. “The least we can do is give back.”
Card said the fundraiser also serves another purpose — it helps the crew team keep perspective while they are within Yale’s intense environment, he said.
“A person can be wrapped up as a Yale student in grades and classes, and as an athlete with training and the team and winning,” Card said. “But he is also a normal citizen, son and daughter. There are many roles to be as an adult.”
Students who donated to the team’s effort said they were glad to contribute.
“[The crew team] put in their time to do this,” donor Anna Gross ’04 said. “It’s easy enough for me to give just a little bit.”