Wabash Valley Community Foundation Issues $150,000 Challenge to Wabash Valley Crew

In Celebration of its 30th Anniversary, Wabash Valley Community Foundation Issues Matching $1-for-$1 Challenge Grant to Wabash Valley Crew

As part of its 30th Anniversary celebration, the Wabash Valley Community Foundation has issued a $150,000 challenge grant to Wabash Valley Crew in support of a permanent boathouse facility. From now until December 31, 2023, Wabash Valley Crew must raise $1 from the general public to receive $1 from the Community Foundation, up to $150,000.

In June of 2016, Wabash Valley Crew was formed to encourage Vigo County youth to participate in rowing. Membership has since expanded to include youth from surrounding counties, as well as students from Indiana State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Most recently, the organization has been in collaboration with the YMCA and Vigo County School Corporation to offer additional programs to benefit residents of all ages.

“[Through this] collaborative effort in our community, we hope to see many opportunities unfold not only in rowing, but in all human water sports,” said Jim Owen, President and Boathouse Coordinator for Wabash Valley Crew. “We would like to expand kayaking and canoeing so our young people and adults can experience the Wabash River, [as well as offer] kayak outings to Dewey Point for outdoor exercise and nature studies. With the proper infrastructure [such as a boathouse], we could easily see 50-150 participants per event using and enjoying the services of a boathouse in Fairbanks Park.”

Jack Hill, Vice President of Wabash Valley Crew, stated the rowing club has already generated interest through its middle school, high school and collegiate participants. “[Together] with these other organizations, Wabash Valley Crew will [have the opportunity to] expand access to equipment and classes in the future for youth and adults in our community, thereby utilizing the Wabash River and Dewey Point and improving the quality of life.”

In reviewing the grant proposal, the Wabash Valley Community Foundation Board realized the Wabash Valley Crew’s project could result in increased opportunities for the community, but only if Wabash Valley Crew had the proper facility.

“[The Community Foundation Board] identified this project as one that falls into many areas of high-priority granting consideration, such as community and economic growth, youth, riverfront development, tourism, beautification, and health and wellness,” explained Sally Zuel, Wabash Valley Community Foundation Board president. “The Community Foundation Board has spent several years focusing on allocating a portion of available grant dollars in anticipation of a large scale, impactful project in Vigo County. We are pleased to provide this matching challenge grant to Wabash Valley Crew for its boathouse which will undoubtedly enrich lives in our community.”

“We see the Wabash Valley Crew boathouse as a wonderful complement to the “See You In Terre Haute 2025 Community Plan” and the existing recreational opportunities,” agreed Beth Tevlin, Executive Director of the Wabash Valley Community Foundation. “With Wabash Valley Family Sports Center’s Lavern Gibson Cross Country Course on the east side, the Terre Haute Convention Center downtown and the ISU Gibson Track and Field Complex on the west side, the addition of the boathouse will further enhance the recreational opportunities for current residents and will create a more vibrant quality of life.”

Wabash Valley Crew is actively working with Mayor Duke Bennett and the Terre Haute Parks Department to find a suitable location for the boathouse, which has a quoted cost of $500,000.  To make a contribution towards this match, please click here.