BY VOICE STAFF
E.L. Crossley Secondary School’s rowing team threw its annual pasta dinner fundraiser on Saturday night, packing the school’s cafeteria with up to an expected 450 people.
“We’ve never raised less than $10,000 for the team—and last year we raised $13,000,” said Kim Yallup, who teaches at the school and is one of the coaches.
“This all started more than twenty years ago with John Ruscitti [who coaches the team],” she said. “When he came to the school there were seven people in the program. He started the dinner with his parents—they were the ones who did the cooking. And it’s grown to this.”
In addition to the pasta dinner, which was provided by CC’s Dugout Italian Eatery in Welland, the team also had running a penny sale and silent auction.
“The donations from the community are always unbelievable,” said Sherry Rusin, who helped organize the dinner and whose son Chris is in his fifth year on the rowing team.
Rusin also emphasized how much the team does for students in the school.
“It isn’t just a handful of people—it’s seventy students,” she said. “It opens up so many doors for students. Before, Chris thought that he’d finish high school, maybe go to college. Now he’s looking at going to the University of Victoria. Rowing has completely changed things for him.”
The only drawback, according to Rusin, are the 5 AM practices.
“I’m pretty happy that Chris has his driver’s license now,” she said.