Greater Lawrence Community Boating Program #CommunitySpotlight

For this month’s #CommunitySpotlight, we’re showcasing another wonderful local organization doing great work for residents all throughout the Merrimack Valley: the Greater Lawrence Community Boating Program.

Founded in 1979, GLCB has devoted itself to making sure all children (and adults) are able to enjoy the water while also learning critical safety skills and information. They offer four major program areas: a 10 week summer program, the Ice and Water Safety Program with the Lawrence Fire Department, a year-round traveling, competitive crew team, and the New Balance Middle School Indoor Rowing League.

During the summer, their complete summer program serves an average of 2,350 kids per week. In addition to boating classes, kids can choose to participate in a range of activities including dance, arts and crafts, sports, science and nature trainings, and even history classes. Plus, every child in the program gets a free lunch Monday-Friday! The program costs $50 for the entire summer, but thanks to their scholarship fund, GLCB never has to turn families away for not being able to afford the program fee.

GLCB isn’t just active in the summer — they also provide vital winter safety trainings to students in the Lawrence Public School system. Working with the Lawrence Fire Department, they certify an average of 8,000 students a year using a Red Cross curriculum that teaches students how to be safe on and around the ice along with information on what to do in case of an emergency rescue.

They also offer a year-round competitive crew team, which has opened doors to countless young people from all over the Merrimack Valley. Many of the kids in this program have suffered injuries that prevented them from playing other sports. Being low-impact, crew is a great way to get them healthy, stronger, and back on a team — and to help them get college scholarships!

Similarly, the New Balance Middle School Indoor Rowing League is focused on getting kids excited about being healthy! Many of the children in the program start off being overweight, and may not be as excited about physical activity. In rowing, however, being heavier is an asset, and these kids are often able to row faster and harder. This makes them more confident and excited about participating, not to mention helps them get in better shape!

Greater Lawrence Community Boating is able to do all of these amazing things thanks to community partnerships, grant foundations, and private event rentals at the boathouse. All money raised from private events goes directly to their scholarship fund, which helps kids from all around Lawrence get free membership to GLCB programs. Additionally, their annual fundraiser is a ticketed event that brings the community together with the goal of raising money for this important organization. Guests are able to enjoy food from 15 local restaurants and a full bar, along with the chance to win 48 prizes through a general raffle, silent auction and live auction. Tickets are $100, and will grant two people entry to the event. If you are interested in buying a ticket, or if you want to learn more about getting involved with GLCB’s wonderful programs, give Jed Koehler a call at 781-249-2608!


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