Who is OAR?

Olympia Area Rowing (OAR) promotes competitive and recreational rowing for adults and youth in the local community, fostering sportsmanship, teamwork, athleticism and camaraderie.

UPDATE: Director of Rowing and Head Coach announcement
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased and excited to announce that Kate Hebdon has accepted our position of Director of Rowing, and Matt Hebdon has accepted the position of Head Coach of the Youth Program.

Kate’s position is a full-time salaried position that includes being the Master’s Head Coach and overseeing the club operations and programming as a whole. She brings experience as a Masters head coach along with project management and organizational skills to bring our volunteer-driven club to the next level. Kate will report directly to the Board President.

Matt’s position is hourly, like our other coaches. He brings valuable experience as a Youth head coach and developing young athletes to meet their goals. This position will report to the Board Vice President.

Kate and Matt have already moved to Olympia and are to begin their positions with OAR on August 16th.

Everyone who had the opportunity to meet Matt and Kate Hebdon should easily recognize the energy, excitement, tireless work ethic, and vision that this couple will bring to OAR. The Board is enthusiastically behind this rather unique decision to hire them both. We believe they are well-suited to re-energize the Masters Program and further build our robust Youth Program as we emerge from the pandemic. We are looking to them to organize, coordinate, and implement new initiatives to improve our club functioning as a whole and further connect OAR with the Olympia community.

As a Board, we are committed to doing everything possible to make this transition in leadership and organizational structure a success. We know we have work ahead of us, and we ask that all club members and families join us in an open, positive, collaboration with Kate and Matt as they transition into their new roles. We want to make it clear that we do not envision any lessened need for volunteerism, although we expect some shifts in who does what, and some streamlining of some operations.

Lisa Iverson, President Olympia Area Rowing Board of Directors

UPDATE: OAR 2021 Summer Fundraising Campaign
To Our OAR Masters Family –

When COVID-19 hit our community, OAR quickly shifted to preserve club resources and create a safe rowing environment for rowers of all ages to “keep the distance together.” The Board of Directors not only preserved financial resources but actively augmented the cash reserves by applying for and receiving federal and private COVID relief funds to help our non-profit navigate the pandemic. All of this helped make it financially possible for us to move forward with hiring Kate Hebdon as our full time Director of Rowing and Matt Hebdon as Youth Program Director and Head Coach. We are pleased and excited about the contributions their leadership will make to all facets of our Club.

As we welcome them to Olympia and help them integrate into our club, we are making a firm commitment to support them, both logistically and financially. As we start to look toward a future where more of us can row together, we will return to the task of further developing our club. So we ask for your financial support to bridge the gap between what our programs currently bring in and where we wish to be in the next few years. We have many great ideas, and most require some degree of financial support, along with leadership, energy and commitment.

Our goal is to raise at least $60,000 by August 15. You can feel confident that your donation will make a difference in the following areas:

• Building more robust coached programs
• Efforts toward community outreach and diversity
• Initiatives that will improve our overall Club functioning
• Purchase of the second set of three Vespoli singles that many of us are using

Earlier this summer, we launched a summer fundraising campaign and kicked it off with a request to Youth Program families. To date, donations from current and past youth parents, along with an extremely generous anonymous contribution of $15,000 over the next two years, total $27,670 to support OAR’s coached programs. OAR Board members have also now contributed a total of $7650. So, as recent contributions to OAR total $35, 320, we are more than halfway to our goal of raising $60,000!

Now, we turn to our generous master rowers for your help with a financial donation. Your gift by August 15 will allow OAR to fully support growth and development of the Club in all the above ways.

Donating to our summer fundraising campaign by August 15 is so simple:

● Visit https://olympiaarearowing.org/donate/ to quickly make a donation online.
(However, please note that Paypal takes 3%)
● Mail a donation to PO Box 7148 Olympia, WA 98507.

Last year, we came together as a club when we needed ergs and singles during the pandemic and now we are hoping we can count on your financial support again.

Join me in supporting OAR with a donation before the end of August 15. As we rejoin our larger rowing community and begin rowing together again, your financial support will help us support our new Club structure and also to bridge the gap until our programs are at capacity once again.

Lisa Iverson
President, OAR Board of Directors

Olympia Area Rowing is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. No goods or services were provided in exchange for your generous financial donation. EIN 91-1939589

UPDATE COVID-19 Guidance as of September 1, 2021

Health and safety of our members and our community is our number one priority. We are working hard on responsible and safe ways to make this happen in accordance with guidelines issued by USRowing, the State of Washington, and Thurston County Public Health and Social Services, while remembering that we are privileged and fortunate to be able to row at this time.

The boathouse is currently open to members following our COVID-19 Safety Protocol. Please check back for updates regarding coached programs for both Adult and Youth Program rowers.

-OAR COVID-19 Task Force