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Wellers to Host Great Gatsby Regatta Benefiting Saline Crew Team

The fourth annual "Roaring Twenties" themed dinner on Aug. 21 will benefit the Saline High School Crew program.

One of the oldest Ivy League sports is a hidden gem for high school students on track toward college. Crew teams like Saline’s compete on waterways around the Midwest to see which teams have the faster boats, and luckily for them, universities seek out competitive rowers to race at the collegiate level.

Parents of crew team members and local leaders are holding the fourth annual Great Gatsby Regatta on Aug. 21, to help build community awareness, expand the team by recruiting new members and help raise funds to keep this college-oriented sport thriving.

This year, the event will be hosted at on Saline’s Mill Pond, marking the fourth year for this “Roaring Twenties” themed adult dinner, dance, and silent auction. Attendees are encouraged (but not required) to come dressed in ‘20s-era garb such as flapper outfits, straw hats and bow ties, or other period attire.  Prizes will be awarded for best costumes. A professional photographer will also be on hand to capture attendees at the event in the gardens and with antique cars on display.

About the Great Gatsby Event

This fun-filled affair includes a prime rib au jus dinner catered by Wellers, along with wines from Saline’s own Spotted Dog Winery (www.spotteddogwinery.com) and beer from Grizzly Peak in Ann Arbor (www.grizzlypeak.net).  Attendees may also partake in a whiskey and cigar bar, mingle amongst antique cars, dance to vintage jazz and swing tunes played by the Saline Big Band, and try their luck in the no-stakes Blackjack Challenge. During the event, a silent auction featuring a wide variety of products, memorabilia, tickets and services will be held offering guests the unique opportunity for some one of a kind purchases and deals! 

The Saline Crew head coach, Matt LeBlanc, will be on hand, along with the team’s founding coaches, Bridgette Sparks and David Fiske, to answer questions, describe the team’s training and racing activities and attest to the program’s value and importance to team members. 

The cost of the event is $55 per person, $100 for two, Round Tables of 8 in the Captain’s Quarters for $480 or rectangular tables of 10 in the main dining room for $475.00. Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.salinecrew.org/?module=Page&pageID=88.

Proceeds will be used towards equipment purchases and the building of a community boathouse at Lakeside Park on Ford Lake, for shared use by Saline Crew and the Eastern Michigan University rowing teams. The community boathouse is a collaborative public/private effort and includes participation by Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti Township, Saline Crew and Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation.

The 5,500 square foot boathouse will have three bays for storage of boats and equipment as well as serve as the main practice facility for Saline Crew and Eastern Michigan University’s women’s crew team. A key part of the boathouse is to be an amenity for the community, so in addition to serving as a permanent home for Saline Crew and Eastern Michigan University’s women’s crew, the project includes improved pedestrian and vehicular access, parking, a picnic shelter, a fishing dock, picnic area overlooks, an outdoor classroom, adaptive rowing where people with disabilities are taught the sport and scenic pathways along the river with interpretive signage.

Saline Crew Background

Saline Crew is a high school club sport for both young men and women and competes against Ann Arbor, metro Detroit area and mid-Michigan high schools including Ann Arbor Pioneer, Ann Arbor Huron, Ann Arbor Skyline, Northville, Cranbrook, Carlson, Crestwood, Gross Isle, Orchard Lake St Mary’s, Riverview, Southgate, Roosevelt (Wyandotte), Grand Rapids Forest Hills, Rockford, and Riverview. The team is open to high school students including incoming freshmen for the upcoming fall 2012 season.

The team has two competitive rowing seasons: fall and spring. The fall season consists of longer endurance races (like cross country) and the spring season is the sprint season (like track). The team travels out of state once or twice per season to attend regional regattas as well as the National Championships, which Saline qualified for this year and in 2010.

Saline Crew consistently earns medals at Michigan State Championships and Midwest regional regattas as well as most recently winning the 2012 Michigan Scholastic Rowing Association State Championship in the Women’s Junior Varsity 4. This past spring season, the Women’s Varsity Pair also earned a berth at the 2012 National Championships by finishing second in the 2012 Midwest Scholastic Championships and ended the season ranked 17th in the nation.  In 2011, the Women’s Varsity Pair and Women’s Novice 4 both won medals at the State Championships and in 2010, the team’s Men’s Lightweight 8+ boat took first place in the State Championships, earning a trip to the nationals in Saratoga, New York, where they came in 12th.   The Men’s Lightweight 4+ boat also finished fifth nationally at the American Schoolboy Championship in Tennessee in spring 2008.  More information can be found at www.salinecrew.org.

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