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This Week's Best of Rowing on Instagram 11/8/2019
November 8, 2019
Erik Dresser, row2k.com

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Office views.

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While it was easy to get caught up in delays and canceled events, I was reminded this weekend of what makes the rowing community special by the Chicago Rowing Foundation (CRF). This past August CRF tragically and unexpectedly lost 3 teammates, Becca Herbig, Garrett Brodersen, and Jack Newhall. While the loss was horrible and challenging, how the team responded was incredible. The board of the club set up a crisis team including bereavement specialist, grief counselors, therapy dogs, and eventually a full time counselor. Furthermore, the board set up CRFCares, a plan to ensure physical, mental, and social health. CRF made holistic wellbeing a top priority knowing that ?happy rowers make fast rowers? Following the loss of Jack Newhall, the team raised money for a new boat for the Youth Men to be dedicated in Jack?s memory. The team created new uni to carry their teammates on uniform as well in their hearts. And before traveling to Chattanooga, the new uniforms were passed out by Jack?s parents with the message to do their best, have, and know that Becca, Garrett, and Jack are cheering for them every step of the way. This weekend at Head of the Hooch both the Men?s and Women?s Youth 8+ won gold in their events on what would have been Jack Newhall?s 18th birthday. When they Facetimed Jack?s parents to tell them about their race, the announcers were giving Jack and CRF a shoutout. It meant the world to Jack?s parents to hear his name announced. I only spent a short amount of time with the team, but it?s clear this is a special group of people that have come together to turn a tragedy into something meaningful. I learned how half of their team is on free or reduced lunch at school. And how CRF offers over $100,000 in financial aid for their rowers towards rowing, tuition and fees. Surely contributing to the fact that 100% of their rowers attend college. They describe themselves as a ?Gritty, city team that just happens to be fast?. They are a great example of how the rowing community can change lives and bring out the best in each other #CRFStrong

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