In the early winter of 1998 the Kenai Crewsers had just finished their inaugural season and Holly Baker, a novice rower who was driving to the Kenai Peninsula from Girdwood and Marietta “Ed” (Hall) Anderson, who was driving from Anchorage to coach the Crewsers, decided to see if there was enough interest to start an Anchorage team. They put posters up around town and about 30 people showed up to the first meeting at the Alaska Club East. Baker and Anderson found a site on Sand Lake, a trailer, and various equipment in Washington to get things started. Kevin Hall joined the duo and with Anderson and Baker filed non-profit corporate paperwork with the state of Alaska. ARA then held its first official meeting at the Q Café and from the large group that came their first board of directors, Holly Baker, Kevin Hall, Marietta (Hall)Anderson, Erica Duke, Ed Cronick, Ben Johnson, Diddy Hitchins, Shannon Jensen, Jesica Shae, Andria (Day) Tiedeman, Sue Ward, and Marian Vichary.
Their first task was to get the equipment to start the club to Alaska from Washington. Ed Cronick stepped up as the team’s first benefactor and underwrote the initial barge trip. Shannon Jensen agreed to be the team’s first novice coach and Andi Day agreed to be the experienced team’s coach and in May 1998 the boats arrived, we became members of USRowing and Anchorage Rowing Association was born.
In 2001 Anchorage Rowing Association was granted 501(c)3 Status by the IRS.
We row from late April/early May to late September/early October and then train together in the winter. We welcome men and women of all ages and experience levels. Our membership ranges in age from 12 to masters rowers in their 70’s. We have a robust sweep team and sculling team and many rowers and coxswains who do both. Our team is volunteer driven and owes its existence and sustenance to the countless hours of volunteer work our members have provided.
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