On a chilly Saturday evening in November, almost 200 Kitsap County rowers and regional supporters of rowing came together at Bainbridge Island’s Wing Point Country Club to enjoy a night of fine food, excellent company, and stirring speeches in support of Bainbridge Island Rowing’s new Stan Pocock Legacy Rowing Center.
After months of meticulous planning led by 2018’s Dream Big Chair, Dee McComb, the evening featured pre-dinner drinks (with an opening raffle and silent auction), a delicious meal accompanied by speeches, and an after-dinner auction capped by a heartfelt impromptu speech from Stan Pocock’s widow Sue.
The event spread throughout the clubhouse restaurant and bar and extended outside into a warmed and tented patio area packed with tempting desserts and alluring prizes and cheerfully staffed by varsity members of BIR’s Juniors rowing program.
A stirring keynote speech was delivered by local British Olympian and lifelong rower Bruce Carter. Carter was the headliner of a lineup of attestants to the power and impact of rowing upon individuals and teams alike, one that featured BIR President Sue Entress, BIR coaches Bruce Beall and Olivia Gangmark-Strickland, BIR junior Eve Hurd, and BIR alumni Samantha Dore and Justeen Komok.
Suitably fired up by some final words from BIR Treasurer Kurt Frost, the gathered crew then launched into spirited fundraising, skillfully led by auctioneers Kevin Joyce and Martha Enson. Attendees bid excitedly on items that included one-of-a-kind experiences, gift packages from local businesses, and a coffee table constructed from the hull of a classic all-wood Pocock rowing shell.
Within the subsequent paddle call came the evening’s best spontaneous moment, when Sue Pocock rose to her feet and delivered an unexpected speech of thanks for all who attended. She thanked the BIR community for their generosity in contributing to the creation of the West Sound’s first permanent rowing center, a facility that will bear the name and further the goals of her late husband.
“Stan would be so humbled by your love and appreciation of both the craftsmanship and beauty of the shells he built, and your support of his dream of enriching lives through the sport of rowing.”
After that emotional crescendo, there was only one way to recover and conclude a memorable night: with dessert, as delivered by a designated dasher from each of the tables and some warm closing words from McComb.
That just leaves one final question: How much did Dream Big 2018 raise towards the rowing center’s completion? The current total is already above $140,000 – not including matching funds – and still climbing . Gifts are still coming in, so stand by for the reveal of our final total in early December.
Thank you to our wonderful BIR community for making Dream Big 2018 a huge success. Keep Dreaming Big everyone, and see you next year!
Photos by Stefan Goldby.