Reaching out after ongoing vandalism at the Kingston Rowing Club

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV
Reaching out after ongoing vandalism at the Kingston Rowing Club

Rowing Club Coach Stephen Lutz surveys the damage done to the club’s Coach Boat. Tuesday night around 11:30pm the boat was cut from the dock and stolen. Club members recovered the boat down shore from the club Wednesday Morning.  Extensive damage means the boat can no longer be used.

Stephen Lutz, Rowing Coach:
“It’s just a lot of time and money and energy that we could be focusing on the kids, instead of this. And I don’t understand why. I guess that’s the biggest thing… why.?Why do people keep doing this?”

Jonna Semple:
“This isn’t the first spout of vandalism those at the Rowing Club have had to deal with. In fact… they say over the last three years things have increasingly got worse… Where multiple things every year are either stolen or vandalized.”

Stephen Lutz, Rowing Coach:
“We lost our truck this spring, again it was recovered, but its been damaged so it’s not useable. Prior to that we lost a coach boat and motor. That was stolen. We found the boat floating but the motor was gone. We’ve had the wiring harness cut off one of our trailers while it was sitting on the lot here.”
Lutz’s says without the club’s truck, boats can’t be transported to competitions and the little money the non-profit club does have is all going to repairs. The club has also tried to beef up security, installing cameras, chains and locks.

Clip-Evelyn Wannemacher, Junior Rower:
“It’s really bad when this happens and it’s happening way to much and it really affects the rowers and it affects the boats we can buy and use, especially to go fast. It has a big effect on us.”

The club is now reaching out to the community for support.  A Go-Fund me page has been set up because insurance won’t cover the entire cost of the boat and truck. They hope to raise 25-thousand dollars.

Stephen Lutz, Rowing Coach:
“Instead of tapping into just the athletes we’re hoping that maybe the community and past rowers will fell that the rowing programs do something positive and that they’ll want to give back now that they can afford it.”

In the next few weeks the club will also be installing a gated entrance to the dock to try and combat the ongoing vandalism.
-Jonna Semple, CKWS News-Kingston

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