crewsunriseindexSmith crew team members will defy the cold for a good cause on Friday, March 4, as they strengthen their skills on rowing machines outside throughout the day to raise money for a local charity.

Rowers will occupy the machines from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Chapin Lawn in front of the Campus Center as part of this year’s annual Ergathon, a crew team campaign to raise funds for their spring training costs and collect contributions for charity. Proceeds raised during their day of rowing will go to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, a nonprofit organizztion based in Hadley that provides serves and food to more than 100,000 people.

The team hopes to raise more than $1,000 in donations, said Karen Klinger ’87, head crew coach and a former Smith crew team member. “We welcome the community to donate, to come by and learn to use the machines, or to just cheer the group on.”

Last year’s Ergathon raised $1,000. The team hopes to easily surpass that total this year. Team rowers will be on hand to collect donations throughout the day.

Other past recipients of Ergathon fundraisers have included Habitat for Humanity, Safe Passage, and local homeless shelters.

The crew team also raises funds for its spring training trips through a letter campaign during the Ergathon.