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Coronavirus Impact Update: Next steps after season cancellation

posted Apr 2, 2020, 10:59 AM by Anne Fernandez   [ updated Apr 2, 2020, 10:59 AM by WTW Crew Webmaster ]

Good morning,

Once again, we begin by saying that the crew board is hopeful that you are all staying safe and that you and your loved ones are out of harm’s way.

As we all have seen, the Coronavirus pandemic has deeply impacted so much of life around the world. We know there are people dealing with it right in our community and they’re all in our thoughts. 

It’s not breaking news that, since the closure of in-person attendance for the remainder of the school year was announced last Monday, all related crew events are cancelled. The Schuylkill Navy cancelled the Stotesbury Cup regatta and SRAA cancelled the national regatta.

The W.T. Woodson Crew Boosters board is working on a strategy to close out the year.  Our goal as a board is to offer families some refund amount while we honor our obligations to coaches, vendors and other partners that make crew possible while ensuring the team is set up for success in 2021. Please direct any questions our way.

The board met this week (virtually), and we have the following updates.

Practice Buses

  • First, if you signed up for the Spring Break practice bus, you should have already received a refund for those funds late last week. Please contact wtwcrewtreasurer@gmail.com if you have not received a check in the mail.

  • If your athlete registered for the regular season practice bus: We are in the process of preparing the refunds and they should be distributed by mail within the next week. We pro-rated those refunds so that bus-riding families only pay for the days the bus ran (roughly two and a half weeks).

Team Financials

Losing the ‘regatta’ part of our season, unfortunately, doesn’t mean we have a large reserve of unspent money. As returning rower families know, the team would normally collect additional payments for the cost of food, travel and lodging at away regattas. Regular season regattas are mostly covered by volunteer time and donations, including RAFT food, spaghetti dinners, and VASRA volunteering. The only ‘savings’ from losing this season comes from relatively small items like VASRA regatta fees and regatta shuttle bus fees.

That means the part of the season we lost, the regatta season, was already largely paid for by the hard work of the off-season and those year-round costs.

  • Your dues and our fundraising efforts together translate directly to cover our costs which began when the Booster club’s fiscal year began on July 1, 2019. Those year-round, critical costs include: 

    • insurance for all our boats and launches

    • maintenance on the launch motors

    • repairs and upkeep of the shells

    • rent for our boathouse

    • salaries for our coaches (paid on an annual basis so almost all are in process or have already been paid). 

  • For many of these items, we started incurring costs on July 1, 2019 and will continue to pay expenses through June 30, 2020, regardless of whether our boats race.

  • Right now, the board is working with all of our vendors and reaching out to everyone to whom we have financial obligations to expedite our work finalizing the costs of the 2020 season. We hope to have everything completed in early May, which is earlier than the usual end of year wrap-up in June.

  • Once we get a picture of the final numbers, we’ll inform families about if and when partial refunds will be issued, the plans for the 2021 season and more.

Student Recognition/Plans for 2021

  • In May we’ll also be recognizing the senior athletes who have served as leaders over the years and will be graduating this year. While this is normally part of our ‘Senior Night’ celebration, we’ll be taking this event online to send off these talented young people. Our class of 2020 seniors are:

    • Joseph Bishop

    • Isabelle Kogan

    • Walter Kowalski

    • Jenny Park

    • Abigail Pesansky

    • Mason Phelan

    • Mya Rowe

    • Beau Sandino

  • We’ll also be selecting a new Board of Directors for the W.T. Woodson Crew boosters to lead the team in the 2020-21 season. Since this process usually happens at our end-of-season banquet, we’ll instead have an online form to vote for the next crew board.

Thank you for your patience as we work through this process. Like everything happening these days, it’s unprecedented, and we’re working to do our best by you and the athletes we’re so sad to see miss an entire season of a sport they love (or were learning to love). 

Please stay safe.

P.S. Many of us are making use of Amazon to replace much of the shopping we may not be able to do safely. Don’t forget about Amazon smile — a great way to support the Woodson Crew team while you shop.