crewsunrise2Smith crew team members will defy the cold for a good cause on Friday, March 9, 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, and a subsequent house collection, 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.”

Team rowers will be on hand to collect donations throughout the day. This year’s team is 67 rowers strong, including 16 seniors.

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.