It is undeniable that Marin Rowing Association has become one of Marin’s most important youth-oriented institutions. Every year we provide positive coaching, effective instruction, a safe and supportive environment, a culture of discipline and success, and a well-worn conduit to some of the best colleges in the country.

As we all know, rowing is expensive. Our club consistently breaks even on an operating basis, but capital costs – boats, oars, ergs, stationary bikes, docks, launches, launch engines, trucks, trailers, and dredging costs – are extensive and cost us, on average, $200,000 a year. While we continue to raise money for these expenses with our fundraising efforts including our annual Ergathon and Biennial Auction, our funding needs are relentless and growing; meeting them draws a significant amount of Sandy’s time and our coaches’ time away from coaching and mentoring our kids.

The MRA Board believes the solution is to build the balance in our Endowment Fund, which currently stands at $500,000. Our immediate goal is to raise another $500,000; a $1 million fund would produce between $30,000 and $50,000 every year for capital expenses. That wouldn’t completely solve the problem, but it would be a great start, and it would substantially relieve the pressure on Sandy so that she could focus on working with the coaching staff and all of our athletes within the club. It would also serve to provide insurance against an unexpected event that could threaten the continuity of our programs.

Marin Rowing impacts kids at a critical time in their lives, offering them a chance to be enveloped by a sport and organization that clearly demonstrates the value of hard work, discipline, teamwork, and determination. Many learn the important life lessons that come from the great sport of rowing and go on to lead lives of purpose and character. 

But there are also many who are struggling in some way – and who find a “haven, a sanctuary, a safe place” at the boathouse where they can learn to persevere in the face of adversity and gain solace from the support of teammates and coaches.


This is why Marin Rowing is so well respected, and why our alums have such a deep emotional connection to our club. It is up to all of us to preserve this incredible institution.

Rowing is the ultimate team sport and we need to come together on this campaign to ensure the future of Marin Rowing. Let us strive to have 100% participation in this great effort. Contribute at whatever level you can and let’s get this done!

SINCERELY, MRA Endowment Committee (Board Members Rick Borden, Kate Boyd, Josh Rafner, John Younger, and Executive Director Sandy Armstrong)