Rowing Teams Pull Together with Habitat for Humanity

By Sara Brooks, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6219

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University rowing teams sent forty members to support the construction of a housing project through Habitat for Humanity on Jan. 30. The student-athletes helped with a variety of projects that aided the overall construction of a house. The team spent four hours of free time on the project.

"Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity was an incredibly rewarding experience," said Karina Hoogstede (So., PORT, Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS). "For me, I learned how empowering it felt to operate power tools and install a kitchen floor."

Working together on projects outside of the team’s usual practice enables a common bond to develop on the team already unified by their dedication and hard work. Through connecting with the community, the team reveals their strength through synergy by combining basic elbow grease and directing it to a great cause.

The crew is now in its fourth week of training, preparing for the Bearcats' first competition of the spring. Willamette will be hosting the Governor's Cup Regatta against Lewis & Clark College on the Willamette River in Salem, Ore., on Saturday, March 13.

Some of the WU rowers who helped at Habitat for Humanity were (L to R): Heidi Hunt, Libby Tobey, Lars Stiglich, Kelsey White and Stina Thorburn.

Some of the WU rowers who helped at Habitat for Humanity were (L to R): Heidi Hunt, Libby Tobey, Lars Stiglich, Kelsey White and Stina Thorburn.

Willamette rowing team member Sarah Ferrier (left) works with a Habitat for Humanity supervisor.

Willamette rowing team member Sarah Ferrier (left) works with a Habitat for Humanity supervisor.