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Northville H.S. Rowing Club to Hold 'Rowathon'

The club's goal is to row the distance from Detroit to Mackinac Island.

Northville High School's Rowing Club is young — only two years old — so don't be surprised if you haven't heard of it.

The club is having a 12-hour "Rowathon" April 13 in downtown Northville where they plan to row the distance from Detroit to Mackinac Island.

"We're rowing to not only raise money but to raise awareness that there is a rowing club at the high school," said Dottie Garrity, parent president of the club.

Club members will row in half-hour shifts from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on rowing machines, also called ergometers, at the courtyard across from The Tuscan Cafe at North Center and Dunlap streets. Rowing from Detroit to Mackinac Island is about 400 nautical miles, she said.

"It wouldn’t be like driving there. It would be like actually rowing the boat there," she said.

The Northville Rowing Club, also called Crew, is a co-ed club sport of about 30 members in both men's and women's teams. 

"We are 100 percent self-funded because we are considered a sport club at the high school," Garrity said. "There’s just not money in the budget right now and we understand that, so we're working to fund things."

Club members have been asking local businesses and community members for $20 pledges.

The funds raised at the "Rowathon" will go toward maintaining boats and purchasing a new boat for competitions that will seat four rowers, which could be anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000, she said.

The club is also hoping to buy a trailer, so it doesn't have to borrow from the school's robotics team.

From previous fund-raising, the club purchased 14 rowing machines that were about $800 each, Garrity said, and have taken a rowing machine into each of Northville's middle schools. They're starting a middle school rowing camp, she said, to get students interested because they have often already picked their sport when they get to high school.

Garrity said everyone is welcome to stop by from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. April 13 to meet and encourage the rowers at the courtyard across from The Tuscan Cafe at North Center and Dunlap streets.

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