Recovery on Water Newsletter, Fall 2014
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Dear Supporters:

As the leaves change, our boats head into storage for the winter, and we enter the cozy Thanksgiving season, I thought it might be fitting to kick off our fall newsletter with results we're proud to share about our program and team. 
Through data we’ve collected, we've learned that ROW has significantly increased the quality of life for breast cancer survivors on the team:
  • 100% of members reported that ROW positive impacts their lives, socially, emotionally, and/or physically at least once per week
  • 40% of members reported that they experience the benefits of ROW on a daily basis
  • After joining ROW, 80% of members report that they exercise four or more days/week, as opposed to only 25% who exercised with this frequency prior to joining ROW
  • This fall, over half the survivors we serve received scholarships to be a part of the ROW team. No other rowing or fitness program in Chicago offers this type of unique support
We are thankful beyond measure for the years of philanthropic support that many of of you have shown our team and program. We could not provide this program without your generosity. 

Fall and the month of October has always been a busy time for Recovery on Water. 2014 was no exception. Please read on for a round up of all we've accomplished this fall and much of what we look forward to this winter, in 2015, and beyond. 

As always: GO ROW!

Jenn Gibbons
Executive Director
Recovery on Water (ROW)

Let the Good Times ROW: Join Us For Our Annual Gala

Purchase Tickets or Donate Here

Bike4ROW Athletes Raise $56,000 for the South Branch Boathouse 

Over 30 cyclists gathered around Buckingham Fountain at 7am on August 10 for the kickoff of Bike4ROW, the ROW boathouse fundraising and cycling event around Lake Michigan. Some cycled 20, 40 or 67 miles to Michigan City that day. Half of the riders stayed on to finish a full week, ending in Petoskey, Michigan where ROW volunteers brought smiles, hugs, and fresh legs (new cyclists, that is). The second week of cycling brought inspiration and energy in to the leg home, especially having ROW member Kathleen Behner on the saddle.

"Being a part of the Bike4ROW team was so much more than I had imagined. It was challenging yet fun and inspirational. My favorite part was getting to know so many great, wonderful cyclists and those supporting us and Bike4Row's mission." - Liz Bautista, Bike4ROW Athlete      

Through 15 days of cycling through rain, warm, cold, equipment setbacks, and injuries - the Bike4ROW athletes, much like the ROW team, pulled together as a team. 
The "fab five" team of Tom Heineman, Liz Bautista, Sarah Eisenberg, Emily Clark, and Jenn Gibbons rode on to finish all 15 days around the lake together. On the last day of the ride, members of Recovery on Water joined the cyclists: literally bringing our mission and team back home to Chicago.


Fueled by peanut butter and honey sandwiches, inspiration from ROW members, and the hospitality and generosity of so many communities around the Lake, these athletes raised over $56,000 towards ROW's boathouse effort. Thank you to cyclists and supporters who made this ride safe and successful. 

"I loved the ride around the Lake! 987 miles in 15 days was challenging, but fun. The camaraderie and mutual support of my fellow riders and our fearless leader, Jenn, was amazing. I am 65 years old, had a fairly heavy Hybrid bike (tuned and adjusted to act more like a road bike), and am in reasonably fit shape. I trained with Jenn and others and logged about 900 miles in June and July and I felt great with a little help from Ibuprofen. The scenery was beautiful, the locals were hospitable and welcoming and the food and pies along the way were awesome. On top of all this, we raised over $50,000 for a great program, Recovery on Water."  - Tom Heineman, Bike4ROW Athlete

The 2015 Bike4ROW dates will be announced in December!

Fall is Regatta Season: Milwaukee River Challenge, ROWAMERICA, Head of the Rock, and ROWtoberfest

This fall's regatta schedule was full, fun, and fast. We started the season in September at the Milwaukee River Challenge, a race that features a 90-degree turn in the last 500 meters to keep coxswains on their toes (or rather, on their rudders!) October's races included attending two new regattas. The inaugural ROWAMERICA was hosted on the Fox River by the St. Charles Rowing Club and ROWtoberfest by our neighbors to the north, The Chicago Rowing Foundation.  

ROW looks forward to planning for a full racing schedule in 2015. Without our own trailer, we are dependent on local teams such as Ignatius Chicago Crew, Chicago Training Center, Lincoln Park Boat Club and The University of Chicago Crew to get our boats safety to and from regattas.

Thank you to the Chicago rowing community for your continued friendship and support! 

"ROWBlue camp is an incredible opportunity to learn from, and be coached by, some of the best college coaches in the United States. But more than that, it is an opportunity for the women of ROW to come together as a team, enjoy the beautiful surroundings, and do what we love every day: to row. At camp, we are rowers. We are not worrying about the stresses of working or parenting, we are simply doing what we love with the people we love."

- Julie Toole, ROW member and ROW BLUE Camper


This past June, 21 ROW members attended the second annual ROW BLUE camp at Fountain Point Resort in Northern Michigan. In 2013, ROW BLUE camp was created and designed by The University of Michigan Men’s Rowing staff for women surviving breast cancer. 

Special thanks to ROW Advisory Board Member Charley Sullivan, Russ Giacobbe, and Chris Lalande for their commitment to this camp and excellent guidance for both the ROW team and coaches. Another thank you to is necessary for the ROW board, for helping fund camp scholarships and their commitment to this very unique bonding experience for our team. 

These beautiful images of some of our members were taken by Bayley Sherman, a senior from the Latin School. Bayley aims to capture the spirit of ROW in her images, and we think she's well on her way to a successful photography career. To learn more about Bayley and her work, please go here
Race4ROW: The Chicago Boat Race 
On Sunday, October 27, over 100 athletes gathered to race 5K on the south branch of the Chicago River to support Recovery on Water at the second annual Race4ROW Chicago Boat Race. University of Illinois Crew and University of Chicago Crew athletes raised $5,730 for ROW, and ROW members attended to hand out shirts and thank the many athletes and parents. 

ROW Hosts We Can Row Madison 
On August 3, the ROW coaches and team hosted a practice on the river with Madison's We Can Row Survivors Program. A survivors sisterhood was present in every boat. We look forward to collaborating with them again this spring!
Congrats and thank you to our Bank of America Chicago Marathon Charity Race Team athletes Caitlin Kreiske, Courtney Smith, Jamie Allen, Julia Kruse and Kelli Zerbel raising funds while running Chicago's 26.2 this October. Big congrats to Brian Homiak for completing his second marathon for ROW, this time in New York City. Collectively these athletes raised over $7,000 for Recovery on Water.

Race4ROW, Recovery on Water’s Charity Race Team is a group of dedicated individuals who participate in athletic activities and events in support of Recovery on Water. To learn more contact us at

We are proud to share that Bears Care has awarded ROW a $7,500 grant in support of our scholarship program. GO BEARS & GO ROW!
Special thanks to Charles River Apparel. We LOVE our new jackets and are thankful for your support of our program - allowing every member of ROW to feel part of the team in this beautiful gear. GO ROW!
New Indoor Home: We've moved!
To accommodate for some of the new programs we'd like to offer in 2015, ROW has found a new indoor home at the Bridgeport Art Center (1200 West 35th). The new space houses twenty rowing machines, space for stretching, yoga, and core circuits - come drop by, and please note the change in your address book! 



Do you shop on Follow this link to access AmazonSmile, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your Amazon purchases to Recovery On Water whenever you shop on Amazon. GO ROW!
Copyright ©  Recovery On Water 2014, All rights reserved.

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1200 West 35th, Chicago, IL 60609
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