Chautauqua Lake Rowing Assn. To Host Gala Event Sunday, June 22

BEMUS POINT – Area residents interested in rowing have the opportunity to join together in support of the sport.

The Chautauqua Lake Rowing Association is celebrating the sport of rowing on Chautauqua Lake on Sunday, June 22, from 3-6 p.m., with the “Rowing, the Ultimate Sport” gala at the Lawson Center for Boating Heritage, 73 Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point.

The gala will feature beverages from the Southern Tier Brewing Company and Bag & String Wine Merchants of Lakewood, as well as hors d’oeuveres by 3 C’s Catering, lemonade and iced tea. A basket drawing is also planned.

Admission is $25 and will include two drink tickets, a tour of the museum and conversations about the history of rowing on the lake – visitors not familiar with rowing will have the opportunity to learn more about the sport. All proceeds will benefit the CLRA.

All tickets purchased by Thursday will be eligible for the door prize – paid accommodation for a one-week vacation to a resort of the winner’s choosing anywhere in the world. The door prize will be announced around 6 p.m.

The Hon. Joseph Gerace Sr., a founder of the club, will introduce the guest speaker, Joseph Carlson. Carlson is a Panama native who is now assistant varsity coach at the Saratoga Rowing Club, a USRowing referee and instructor at the USRowing Referee College.

According to Kathleen McCarthy, president of the association, this is the first gala since 2011.

“It should be a fun time and informational,” McCarthy said. “I started rowing five years ago, and it as an absolutely wonderful sport – I’ve met great people and it’s a wonderful workout.”

McCarthy said that the exercise is 80 percent legs, 10 percent back and 10 percent upper body.

Emily Wuebbolt, a Southwestern High School student headed to Cornell University, will speak about her experiences at the event. Haley Jones, a Jamestown High School student headed to Syracuse University, will also share about her experience.

“We’re very excited about (these girls) going on to row at college,” McCarthy said.

Organized rowing began on the lake in 1886, when a group of oarsman formed the Chautauqua Lake Boat Club, which disbanded in 1889. The Chadakoin Club also held races on the lake for two decades, until sailing became the primary sport in the 1930s. In 1939, rowers held a race with the West Side Rowing Club from Buffalo, who won the contest decisively. This contest ended organized rowing on Chautauqua Lake for the next 70 years. In late 2005, a small group of dedicated rowers brought rowing back to the lake, and the Chautauqua Lake Rowing Association was formed.

The CLRA has rowing programs for all ages and prior experience is not necessary.

The boathouse is located at 18 Jones and Gifford Ave. in Jamestown.

For tickets, call 410-1851.

To learn more about the Chautauqua Lake Rowing Association, visit www.rowchautauqua.org.