TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WAWV/WTWO) – Wabash Community Foundation and Wabash Valley Crew have collected over one-third of challenge grant funds for a permanent boathouse facility by the Wabash River. Organizers say the $150,000 challenge will benefit residents of all ages.
The foundation issued the match grant challenge to the Wabash Valley Crew back in January. Wabash Community Foundation Community Engagement Officer Jonathan Eilbracht said match funds are a great way to provide community input.
“We want it to feel like the community had an impact in it and was able to help with this as well,” Eilbracht said. “We could give the money and just say this came from the foundation, but with a matching grant it comes with support from the community as well.”
Eilbracht said between the matches made by the foundation and donations made to Wabash Valley Crew, they have raised a total of $60,000 for the boathouse.
Wabash Valley Crew president Jim Owens said he feels encouraged as this has been a goal the club has looked into for several years.
“We started in 2016 with the intent of giving middle school and high school students the opportunity to learn how to row on the Wabash River,” Owens said. “Over the years we have assisted and competed with rowing teams of all ages. Now we can’t get any bigger without a boathouse.”
Owens said the club currently commutes over ten miles to get to Fairbanks Park to row on the Wabash River.
“We have to bring the equipment to the park every practice, so that’s fuel costs and logistics,” Owens said.
Wabash Valley Crew has worked with the YMCA and parks department over the past couple of months to map out a place for the potential boathouse close to a dock they donated to the city.
“Between 2016 and 2017 we built a dock, and we turned around and gave that to the city,” Owens said. “That is exactly what we are going to do with the boathouse.”
Owens said the boathouse will be for all water sports and anyone that looks to learn.
“This is not our boathouse this is the community boathouse,” Owens said.
Wabash Valley Crew has until the end of 2023 to raise funds for the boathouse. If you want to learn more you can click here.