The Ocean City High School crew team is hosting a Crewza Palooza Benefit Bash on Oct. 6. The benefit will help the team raise money for equipment since its current equipment is outdated and lacks proper storage space, Suze DiPietro, a crew team parent, said.
"We want to get fundraising going to build a boathouse and for new boats and equipment," DiPietro said. "It's a wonderful program with excellent coaches."
Fundraising is more important now than ever, DiPietro said, as crew is getting increasingly more popular.
"I think about 60 freshmen signed up last year, so the crew team is on the upswing," she said.
Dennis Fischer, whose son is a sophomore on the team, agrees. He said that last year the incoming freshman class swelled the ranks the of the team.
"We're having in inordinate amount of kids join. The freshman class I think doubled the size of the crew team," he said.
Although the parents are excited about the prospect of crew becoming more popular, it makes funding the sport more difficult, as crew equipment can get expensive. Fischer said that a new boat can cost as much as $40,000.
Right now, DiPietro said that team has no boathouse, just an area where boats are stacked on racks surrounded by a chain link fence. She also said the team's newest boat is four years old.
Despite this, in May the Ocean City High School freshman eight boys crew team had a historic Stotesbury Regatta victory in Philadelphia. The team defeated 44 other boats to make Stotesbury Regatta history - this was the first time an Ocean City team had won gold at the event.
The school offers as much support as it can, Fischer said, but due to the expenses that crew elicits the club's parent boosters try to raise as much money as possible for the team.
"This year what we're doing is concentrating on giving people as many different ways as possible to help us with our fundraising efforts," he said. "We're trying to get together a few car washes, coin drops, things like that. We're out in the community instead of putting all the pressure on our crew families."
The crew benefit will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Oct. 6 at Fluharty's Buck Tavern in Corbin City and feature music by classic rock band, Suze and The Electric Fish. The show will be hosted by WZXL morning D.J. Joe Ciapanna. All proceeds will benefit the crew team. Tickets are $30.
For more information about Crewza Palooza or to purchase tickets, call Suze DiPietro at 609-287-0646.
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