December 12th, 2015
Dear LCAA Members and Friends,
The intent of this letter is to bring everyone up to date on some hot topics that the association has been dealing with over the past month and a half. On October 17th, we lost a very dear friend and teammate to cancer. Eric Hanson rowed at PLU in the late 80’s and left an impression on the program and on the hearts of rowers for years to come. Still rowing in the weeks before his death, many of us chuckled at the fact that it may have only been in a drainage ditch on the side of a highway… but no matter. All he needed was a boat, two oars, and a water way wide enough to pull those oars! Many inquiries have come in asking, “How can we honor Eric?”
PLU Crew has been fortunate to receive two endowments over the past 25 years. The Herland Fund was established by members of the LCAA after the passing of a beloved friend, teammate and coach, Doug Herland in 1989. In 2015, the University received a generous endowment from the Gordon Family. As part of that endowment, the LCAA has committed to purchasing a boat in Mark Gordon’s (Rower 1990) name as soon as possible. We feel that this commitment is extremely important, and while several folks have discussed purchasing a boat in Eric’s name, we do not feel that at this time that is practical. It can definitely be something discussed at a later time; however in keeping with the wishes of Eric’s family, we would like to encourage all those inclined, to make a donation in Eric’s name to the Herland Fund. The Herland Fund supports both the Women’s and Men’s crew programs – as Eric did with his hard work and dedication to the operations, coaching, and support of both crews while he was attending PLU. Family members specifically acknowledged Eric’s love of the entire team!
We encourage anyone interested in making a donation in Eric’s name to contact Lauralee Hagen at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 535-7203
Additionally, there has been discussion with the current Men’s Coach, Lori Clark, to allow us to change the name from the Pocock Inspirational Award to the Eric Hanson Inspirational Award. Traditionally, this award has been bestowed upon the rower who has most inspired their teammates and provided leadership for the crew. It is our hope to be able to provide a plaque for the boathouse that will be updated each year with the recipient names. This will be one way we can continue to grow the legacy of the program and the awesome people that have bent oar at PLU. (Coxswains not excluded.) J
Other topics we have been discussing include supporting the crew in the upcoming 2016 season, most notably the 40th Anniversary of the Lamberth Cup on April 10th, fulfilling our goals of honoring past rowers via the Golden Oar Society and continuing to have alumni socials where we connect via BBQ, rowing events and other venues. Erik Benson has already volunteered his awesome abode for the Opening Day Celebration, May 7th, 2016. Please mark your calendars for these events! We are hopeful to have Dave and Patsy Johnson in town for the Johnson Cup on April 10th. This is the women’s alumni race in its 4th year. Of course, we will be hoping to fill several boats to compete for the Neil’s Cup as well.
In order to make the Lute Crew Alumni Association a success, we need your help. Any time, energy or resources you can commit to the LCAA is appreciated. We would like a volunteer to take the lead in working with Coach Andy, from the Women’s team, in an effort to have a special celebration of the 40th Lamberth Cup. We would also appreciate volunteers to host an alumni tent at regattas. We are very fortunate to have Sheri Koehn as part of our team and she helps with the Facebook posts and our website. If you haven’t yet signed up for the PLU Alumni site, please do so. That way you will be sure to receive updates, calendars and invites. Visit: Plu.edu/Alumni
Our regularly scheduled meetings are the last Wednesday of each month. December 30th will likely be strictly a conference call or email exchange of updates. Please reach out to me if you have any ideas you would like added to our agenda. We will be posting this letter to the alumni website. A link will appear on the Facebook so folks that are not on the email can be informed as well.
Thankful for all of YOU this Thanksgiving Season!
LCAA Secretary / PLU ‘91