Rowing is a daunting feat to accomplish that requires hard work, mental and physical toughness, can take several hours to complete and can be quite painful.
This is exactly the reason why Melanie Budd picked rowing as the perfect sport for a marathon for her fundraising event Reasons to Row.
Co-directed by Budd and Spectre Gunship, a local non-profit band, Reasons to Row will be held on Saturday, July 6 in support of Soldier On, CHEO and SickKids.
The hope is not only to raise money, but also to raise awareness about Soldier On. In the past Reasons to Row has raised money for CHEO and SickKids. However, this year Budd has included raising money for Soldier On.
Budd explains that rowing is meant to symbolize the challenges those who need to turn to Soldier On, CHEO or SickKids face.
“This feat is meant to symbolize the physical and mental suffering many of our Veterans have experienced, which led to them being Soldier On athletes. Beyond that, this also represents what the children and families of those children who have had to utilize the services of CHEO and SickKids go through as well. The two people who have offered to do this row with me symbolize the fact that you are never alone in your journey, which for me is the most important takeaway from this. This was the number one thing I wanted to symbolize, and I cannot thank these two individuals enough for joining me,” said Budd.
According to Budd, the funds raised for Soldier On will be used to provide members with equipment and coaches to meet their needs. Additionally, the funds raised for CHEO will be used to develop pediatric programs, procure state-of-the-art equipment and provide assistance to familiar of those in their care while SickKids will use the funds to build a new state-of-the-art care facility to replace their currently used 70-year-old building in their SickKids VS Limits Campaign.
Budd will be accompanied on the rowing marathon by two other “brave souls” as she puts it.
“I have been so overwhelmed by the support people have offered in joining in for some rowing, but due to the space restrictions, we have capped it at three rowers. We hope everyone that has interest in rowing will come out to donate, tell their friends, and cheer us on instead,” noted the event co-director.
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The evening will also feature live music from three bands, and throughout the night, members who have benefited from Soldier On will share about what the organization does, as well, the crowd will also periodically be checking on the three rowers.
Door prizes, donated by local veteran-owned businesses, will also be given out throughout the night.
“For people, I know through CrossFit. I try to lure them by saying they get to watch me suffer on a rower for close to four hours and yell at me for a change, which seems to win them over. But really this event is bound to be full of amazing people in attendance united for a fantastic cause. I also hear there’s great beer, so if nothing else comes out of the event, people can come out and enjoy some live music,” said Budd.
Reasons to Row will take place at D’Arcy McGee’s in Kanata, ON on Saturday, July 6. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
For those wanting to donate at the event, there will be a cash box on site.
Reasons to Row is also accepting e-transfers to go into their charity bank account by emailing [email protected].com or cheques can be made out to Reasons to Row.
Reasons to Row Marathon organizers are also looking for corporate sponsors. With a donation of $500 or more, they can secure a company logo on the t-shirt. Those who cannot donate that amount will be given a spot on the event flyer.
To learn more email Reasons to Row, visit the Spectre Gunship website.