Men and women exercised in an endeavor to aid siblings of cancer stricken families Monday.
“We’re going to make ourselves hurt for a cause that’s greater than ourselves,” junior kinesiology major Ryan Bibko said.
The WSU Cougar Crew held its annual Row-A-Thon to raise money for the Jaimeson Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund helps
siblings of cancer victims attend college, according to the press release.
The Row-A-Thon is an event that has gone on for the past eight years, said Peter Brevick, the Cougar Crew novice coach. For the last two years, however, the fundraiser has been specifically for the Jaimeson Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund, he said.
The memorial fund was founded by the family of Jones, who was a member of Cougar Crew during the 2008/2009 season. Jones was diagnosed with testicular cancer after the season ended and died Oct. 7, 2010.
His spirit and endurance inspired his teammates to work hard toward being not only fast rowers, but also great people, according to the press release.
“We’re out here to support his family’s scholarship fund, pay tribute and honor his memory,” said Paul Lund, a senior animal science major and the Cougar Crew historian.
Members of the Men’s Novice and Varsity and Women’s Lightweight team rowed in two-hour shifts on stationary rowing machines from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday on the Glenn Terrell Mall.
“We didn’t set a monetary goal, instead we came up with a rowing goal ... to show our team’s contribution,” Lund said.
An average of eight to ten students were rowing at any given time, Brevick said. The teams set a goal to row 3.5 million meters for the fundraiser.
“I think this is one of the most important things we do as a team,” senior kinesiology major Brittany Darnell said.
Every year the team chooses a charity or cause to donate the proceeds of the fundraiser to, she said. With this year marking the anniversary of Jones’ death, the team felt it was important for them to donate 100 percent of the proceeds to his family’s scholarship fund, she said.
“The girls are doing about 12,000 meters per hour, and the guys probably a little more,” she said. “So it’s quite a bit of rowing and takes a lot out of you.”
Each rower would have to row two hours per day, in addition to practice, to reach that goal, Brevick said. The coaches brought sign-up sheets to practice, and the students signed up for two hour timeslots where they could row between classes, he said.
One student that donated was freshman mechanical engineering major Timothy Grant. This is a great cause, and the rowers need all the support people can give, he said.
“My grandma has been diagnosed with lung cancer twice; my mother went through breast cancer,” he said. “I have a lot of family that has been through cancer and survived, so any little bit can help with cancer research.”
The Cougar Crew will continue the Row-A-Thon from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday on the Glenn Terrell Mall.