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Normally, this is the time of year when we’d be celebrating the start of another rowing season at the Montreal Rowing Club. There would have been an open house to encourage the uninitiated to try rowing for the first time. Our Learn-to-Row courses would be filling up fast with eager novices. All us regulars would be jumping back into our boats, to continue the never-ending search for that perfect stroke.

Normal, though, is not where we find ourselves at the moment. It’s been one month now since we had to abandon our facilities at Parc Jean-Drapeau, in order to comply with necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A quick pivot to online has allowed us to continue training regularly via video link— keeping our community engaged and together, as we await the return of normal. As the days turn into weeks, and the weeks stretch into months, however, it’s hard to know exactly when that will be.

While every effort has been made to minimise the effects this delay will have on our club, we will certainly feel its sting. The cancelation of our spring season means not only that we won’t get back on the water as soon as we’d like, but also that we lose the income generated by all of our usual programs. Furthermore, it compromises the year’s most important period for recruiting new members. Add in our operating costs (rent, most significantly), and the total impact will certainly be measured in the tens of thousands of dollars.

So today, if you are in a financial position to do so, I would ask you to consider making a donation to support our club through this difficult period. You might like to help us pay our rent for a day (the equivalent of $65). Maybe you can offer to pay for a few hours ($5, $10, $20). Maybe paying for a full week ($455) is no problem for you. Your support is important and greatly appreciated, no matter what amount you are able to give. Let's see how many weeks' rent we can cover together!

If you would like a tax receipt (for donations of $25 or more), please make your donation through Fonds Sports Québec and note that they will retain 9% to cover their administrative costs. If you do not require a tax receipt, please make your donation directly to the club (by cheque or e-transfer) to avoid the extra costs and maximise the impact of your gift.

Thanks very much and I hope to see you at our online workout sessions (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6 p.m.), until we arrive, together, back to normal.


Scott Tresham

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