July 2019 FRA General Meeting

Fairmount Rowing Association

Minutes of the General Meeting July 1st, 2019


 Attendees – Al Wachlin, Bob Galli, David A. Himes, Jr., Djordie Vilimanovic, Jim Sonzogni, Molly Konopka, John Krajewski, John Ryan, John Willemin, Mike J. Murphy, Rich Alexander, Sara Sargent, Red Sargent, Eddie Scacchitti, Vensi Ivanoff, Bill Hudome, Monica Bersani, Mike Cipollone, John Scott, Margo Angelopoulos, Mark Grady, Tom Owsten, Rob Maier, Tom Sibson, S Hogan, Barbara Hogan, Russ Abbey, Paul Read, Laurence Hookway, David Bates, Brian Perkins, Bill Rafter, Dave Lennon, Joe Mcelvenney, J.C Martin.


Meeting called to order at 7:03 pm.


1.       Membership – John K on behalf of Pete McNamara

People who are without a locker will be assigned one shortly. Be on the lookout for communication regarding the assignments.


2.       Treasurer’s Report –Fred Gerland

Finances are in good order. Combining our PNC and Vanguard accounts we have crossed over 500k. If you have any questions please reach out to Fred.


3.       Schuylkill Navy Report – Michael J Murphy

The dredging is still on pace to occur, we are looking at a Mid-August start, October Finish. We are still waiting on when things will be finalized.

The Philadelphia Youth Regatta is looking for volunteers, if you can help out please check out Boathouserow.org to sign up.


4.       Captain’s Report –John Scott

We are in great shape with our equipment. We welcome our new coach John Riley. Fairmount has at least two more summer regattas that we will attend: QCMR and also Carnegie Lake. The club is averaging 28 to 34 members at each practice.


5.       House Committee – John K

The house is in good standing. We are looking to update our fire, security and also our camera systems.


6.       Old & New Business

Quaker City Foundation (Bill Rafter)- Started in the 1990’s. The foundation is run by the board of directors, who are all Fairmount members. The foundations goals are to support rowing, provide funds if ever need to move or prevent sinking and also support the foundation of Fairmount Rowing Association. Right now, the foundations income is dividend, they are currently not solicitating donations. The biggest expenses they have are fees for bank accounts.



Meeting adjourned at 7:44 pm.

The next general meeting is September 9th, 2019.


                                                                                                David A Himes Jr

                                                                                                Recording Secretary


March FRA General Meeting

Fairmount Rowing Association

Minutes of the General Meeting January 7th, 2019


 Attendees – Al Wachlin, Bob Galli, David A. Himes, Jr., Djordie Vilimanovic, Ted Nash., Jim Sonzogni,  Kevin Montenegro, Molly Konopka, Tom Greenwood , John Krajewski, John Ryan, John Willemin, Mike Breslin, Mike J. Murphy, Michael W. Murphy, Rich Alexander, Rob Maier, Sara Sargent, Red Sargent, Rob Hneleski, Steve Kowalik, Tom Kowalik, Craig Bischoff, Eddie Scacchitti, Bill Rafter, Curt Kaufmann, Joe Carroll, Sharon Collins, John Pickford, Paul Read, Ryan Henry, Vensi Ivanoff, David Mercante, Jon Merz, Stephan Matanovic


Meeting called to order at 7:03 pm.


1.       Membership – John Krajewski on behalf of Pete McNamara

Dues were due on 2/28. Please make sure if you have not paid Pete, you do so.


2.       Treasurer’s Report – John Krajewski on behalf of Fred Gerland

Finances are in good order. Numbers were not provided at the time of the meeting. If you have any questions please reach out to Fred and he will be able to answer them appropriately.  


3.       Schuylkill Navy Report – Michael J Murphy

The dredging will occur. The City of Philadelphia is under taking the effort along with the Schuykill Navy. Currently they are about $250,000 off from the final number of 4.5 million. They are waiting for donors to help put the project over the top.

In the meantime, the dredging will occur. The time frame is the following:

April 1st- The Bid goes out 

End of May - Contract Finalized and a time frame will be laid out of when the river and what sections will be dredged.

The idea of decennial dredging has been addressed. It could be funded by a bond that each club, organization and any individual would contribute to yearly. 

We will have to move our dock and will need volunteers to do so. They are looking to be moved above the viking "pedestal"


4.       Captain’s Report –John Scott

We will be purchasing new C2 oars, along with a new quad that is set to arrive on 3/16. We are still in the process of trying to find a new coach. We thank Joe K for stepping in to provide coaching while we look.


5.       House Committee –Sharon Collins

The house is in good standing. Please be mindful of things around you that need to be taken care of while in the boathouse (trash, bar & table tops). New Committee members have joined and gave great feedback and ideas. The sign up list has to be renewed for tasks around the house as well as Spring Cleanup day


6.       Entertainment Committee –Monica Bersani.

Please keep Memorial Day open for the annual Rooster Race. We will have a potluck for the event and we will be dedicating boats as well.


7.       Old & New Business

Communication will be going out soon for the JL store. It will be open for a week at a discounted rate for all of our Fairmount gear. If you would like to add items or have ideas for new gear, reach out to Rob Hneleski.



Meeting adjourned at 7:38 pm.

The next general meeting is May 6th, 2019.


                                                                                                David A Himes Jr

                                                                                                Recording Secretary


January FRA General Meeting

Fairmount Rowing Association

Minutes of the General Meeting January 7th, 2019

  Attendees – Al Wachlin, Bill Hudome, Bob Galli, Brian Perkins, Monica Bersani, David A. Himes, Jr., Djordie Vilimanovic, Fred Gerland, Ted Nash., Jim Sonzogni, Joe Mcelvenney,  Larry Connor, Kevin Montenegro, Molly Konopka, Tom Greenwood , Paul Stewart, John Krajewski, John Ryan, John Willemin, Margo Angelopoulos, Mike Breslin, Mike J. Murphy, Michael W. Murphy, Rich Alexander, Rob Maier, Kevin P Flynn, Sara Sargent, Red Sargent, Rob Hneleski, Tom Toland, John Scott, Tom Kowalik,Trey Ehmer, Craig Bischoff, Eddie Scacchitti, Jacob Svoboda, Joe Kieffer, Joe Oberlies, Dennis Maccormick, Laurence Hookway, Mike Cipollone, Pete McNamara, Tom Greenwood, Tom Owston.


Meeting called to order at 7:01 pm.

  1.      Membership – Pete McNamara

Dues will be mailed out shortly via email. Please make sure to get your dues paid on time.  If you are deciding not to re-new, please let Pete right away as we have a waiting list for membership.

 2.      Treasurer’s Report – Fred Gerland

Finances through end of 2019:

      Income - $311K

      PNC Bank - $31K

      Vanguard - $425K

3.      Schuylkill Navy Report – Michael J Murphy

There has been some traction for the dredging project. Money has been raised by Schuykill Navy, Boathouse Row (including Fairmount) and Penn, Drexel, and Lasalle to help cover some of the costs. If the project would take place, it would start after the Independence Day regatta on the race course and wrap up hopefully before the H.O.S regatta.

 4.      Captain’s Report –John Scott

Please be mindful of the equipment in the boat bays. Dings are still occurring even with measures being taken to prevent them. We are in the early stages of trying to find a new coach. We thank Joe K for stepping in to provide coaching while we look.

 5.      House Committee – John Krajewski (On Behalf of Sharon Collins)

The house is in good standing.

 6.      Entertainment Committee –Monica Bersani.

Please be on the lookout for an e-vite for the Club Banquet that will take place at the end of Feburary/early March (date tba)

 7.      Old & New Business

None to report

 8.      Nominations

The following individuals have been elected for officer and board positions.

 President: John Krajewski

 Vice President: Kevin Montenegro                                                                

Coxswain:  Margo Angelopoulos

First Lieutenant: Djordie Vilimanovic

Board of Directors: Al Wachlin, Mike J Murphy

 The following members retain their seat as officers:

Captain: John Scott

Treasurer: Fred Gerland               

Financial Secretary: Pete McNamara

Recording Secretary: David Himes Jr

Schuylkill Navy Representative: Michael J. Murphy                  

Meeting adjourned at 7:43 pm.

The next general meeting is March 4th, 2019.


                                                                                                David A Himes Jr

                                                                                                Recording Secretary


Schuylkill Navy Meeting Minutes




CommodorePaul HorvatVice-CommodoreBonnie Mueller Treasurer  Andy LevinSecretary  ------- Log Keeper  John Pagano - excusedQuartermaster  Jack Lees - excused

Member Clubs:

Fairmount Rowing AssociationMike MurphyPennsylvania Barge ClubGene GallagherCrescent Boat ClubMike PierceBachelors Barge Club Henry HauptfuhrerUniversity Barge Club Deirdre Mullen Malta Boat Club  Tom Mickler  Vesper Boat ClubJeff GreenfieldCollege Boat Club  Katie Lane (by phone), for excused Andrew BlumPenn AC  Chris CostelloUndine Barge ClubChris McElroyPhiladelphia Girls’ Rowing Club Michele BaymorGillin Boat Club John Fife

Associate Member Clubs:Whitemarsh Boat ClubErik MensConshohocken Rowing CenterArt PostSedgeley ClubABSENT (Sophie Socha)PA Center for Adapted SportABSENT (Jennifer Koch)Philadelphia City RowingNick DillonHines Rowing CenterAlternate Lois Trench-Hines, for Absent Kiera McCloy

Committee Chairs and Regatta Directors:

Regatta Director, Strategic Partnerships and Public Engagement – Margaret Meigs (Director/Chair)

River Restoration Committee – Paul Laskow (Chair)


Paul Horvat called the meeting to order at 7:04


The minutes of Oct15, 2018 were motioned and seconded for approval, receiving unanimous approval.


(Strategic Priority: Improving River Infrastructure)

Paul Laskow reported that the City of Philadelphia continues to lend its support for acquiring funding for the $4.5-4.7 million needed for Big Dig Restoration. To date, three of the city-based universities have made sizable commitments to support the project and continued recreational use of the river. These institutions - together with the City of Philadelphia , State of Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia Rowing Community (Schuylkill Navy, Schuylkill Navy Boathouse Row Clubs, and three additional regatta organizations ) – currently have made commitments for over $3.2 million.  The Schuylkill Navy is in active discussions with the city regarding continued progress and potential sources of funding to address the current shortfall.

Paul noted his plan to convene the December meeting via phone versus an in-person committee meeting.  Deirdre Mullen of UBC asked whether plans were still on track to commence dredging in July 2019, and Paul confirmed affirmatively.


(Strategic Priority: Improving River Infrastructure)

Bonnie Mueller reported on the recent completion of two successful river clean-ups at Strawberry Mansion Bridge and Lemon Hill.  Paul Horvat shared that the City of Philadelphia has confirmed with the Schuylkill Navy plans for significant investments of $1,000,000 on sea wall repairs from announced bond spending.  Additionally, $250,000 will be invested on the west side of the park for replacement of the current dragon boat / paddling dock. 

Deirdre Mullen asked whether inspection of the sea wall at Boathouse Row could take place while docks were removed during the potential upcoming Summer 2019 dredge, and Bonnie Mueller noted that this possibility would be explored with the City of Philadelphia.


Andy Levin distributed the P&L to date, noting that the Officers and Finance Committee would work to approve and recommend a 2019 budget prior to the end of the year.  Andy also noted that, per last year’s agreement, the River Stewards subcommittee for the EcoHarvester would convene to create an end-of-year summary report for 2018. 


(Strategic Priority: Event Management)

Bonnie Mueller shared with all Delegates the list of Trophy Donors for the upcoming Schuylkill Navy Run and asked all Delegates to continue to encourage participation not only from their members but from those athletes/team from their tenant organizations. 


(Strategic Priority: Developing the Next Generation)

John Fife reported that the Coaches’ Committee will host a holiday Happy Hour on Dec 14 at University Barge Club.  Lois Trench-Hines inquired whether or not all upriver coaches are included in all Coaches’ Committee activities, and Bonnie Mueller affirmed that they are.  Bonnie shared that Coach Fife would serve as one of the Mid-Atlantic coaches for the USRowing’s Regional Youth Challenge in mid-December. 


(Strategic Priorities: Regatta Management)

Bonnie Mueller distributed the dates of all 2019 Schuylkill Navy regattas so that Delegates, Clubs, Captains could begin to plan prep for volunteer and launch management support.  Bonnie confirmed that all volunteer sites would be launched on January 1, per the normal schedule. 

Bonnie also distributed a full report of volunteer services shifts/launch provision – by Club – for the 2018 year. 

Paul Horvat confirmed that the Schuylkill Navy had received its keys for the Sedgley Porter House and will require a small number of capital expenditures prior to the end of the calendar year.  The Board agreed that any needed expenditures should be summarized and distributed for approval via an email vote prior to the end of the calendar year.


The Board agreed to NOT insert an additional December 19th2018 meeting, instead preferring to conduct any needed business via email.

Bonnie Mueller publicly thanked Pennsylvania Barge Club for hosting the Philadelphia City Rowing November 30th“Friendsgiving” and recommended that all Board members consider attending to support the program.

Bonnie also reminded all Delegates of the ongoing Fairmount Rowing Association Toys for Tots (with a final date of November 30th) and the November 24th Schuylkill Navy Red Cross Blood Drive. 

Paul Horvat reminded all Board members that nominations for Schuylkill Navy Officers should be submitted to the Schuylkill Navy general email address (given no current Secretary) by November 30th.    Bonnie noted that Club Presidents should submit the names of their chosen Delegates and Alternates by the end of the year, and that Board Delegates would be sent a reminder of all available Committees for 2019.

Restricted Boats

Just a “Friendly Reminder”

Folks – Probably one of the hardest things I have to do as Captain is “say no”.    Especially to friends and senior rowers with whom I respect.

Having said that, I take boat damage personally, and when I give a “yes” to a restricted boat, and it comes back damaged – that is ON ME .

So, just a reminder.

Restricted boats are RESTRICTED for :

  • Racing – not general practices
  • Pre-Race Preparation

I realize we have boats out, but that doesn’t pass the mustard for taking a restricted boats (unless it is a racing lineup and during a coached practice)

Thanks for your understanding, John

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Please Read

  1. I apologize for the confusion for this morning. My email on closing the river was out of step with coaches call for practice.

  2. This morning – crews went out, but left the Boathouse WIDE OPEN when they left………..come on guys ???

  3. This morning – crews went out with the RIVER CLOSED (I never opened it since my email went out yesterday).

  4. There will be practice THU am.

SO for the future – a call for practice does not override whether club equipment is allowed on the water.  When in doubt – please call me.

THX for your patience.


PS – Due to the amount of damage to restricted boats and general boats, river flow and debris will be watched more closely, and I will err on the side of caution.

Island Project

FRA Members,

The city is working to complete the "Island Project".  Dredging of the river in front of the FRA dock, and around the island itselfwill be required.  This project will have an effect on rowing at FRA in the coming weeks.  Rest assured that everything possible has been done to minimize the effect, and we will continue to work towards that goal and get us back to normal.  That said, this is the best estimate that we have at this time:

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Boat restrictions effective immediately

I am writing to express a concern that has come to my attention from various members that needs immediate attention. Recently there have been several incidents involving "restricted boats" being used with questionable authority to do so. This has led to some confusion and ill feelings , which I am sure knowing the membership , was not the intention. In my opinion, it is a good thing that we as members self-police each other so that rules are enforced and universally followed...

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Fall Training

This was BEST summer I have had since the summer of 2009. That was the year I finished my first year at UPenn, and coached and directed my first summer camp at Penn AC. 
For the last 8 years, I have always been away from FRA directing/coaching at a rowing camp or another program. This is the first summer that I have been able to coach at FRA for the full summer. On top of that,  being able to race with everyone has been wonderful, and I have enjoyed it immensely. I have missed competing, and I am grateful to be able to represent our club and row alongside everyone.

"FAIRMOUNT 4-LIFE" - FALL ROWING (training standards)

As a club, we really have built up training momentum since the start of the Spring Season. Tuesdays and Thursdays practices have grown tenfold, and the rest of the Schuylkill Navy has taken notice of all the Fairmount rowers on the river...

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June Captain's Log


 A few notes as we enter the 2017 Summer season, Hopefully the cold will be gone for good soon.

 1)  Thanks to all who came out in spite of the weather to enjoy  this Memorial Day at our annual event. These events can only be as good as the participation. This year we had a great Rooster Race which included 7 single racers across in a very competitive event. Congratulations to all of the single sculler participants: Jacob, Kevin Montenegro, Greg Jr., Larry, Tom Sibson, John Ryan . This year's Rooster Trophy once again belongs for the second year in a row to our favorite Serb,  Djordje Vilimanovic...

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FRA Winter Training

Hello FRA members!

First off, Happy New year!

And thank you all for your generous gift for the holidays, as well as my new FRA Pull over. I am excited to wear it.

Coaching this Week - Sunday ONLY

I will be down Sunday this week 6:30 am to 8:30 am.

I have been invited back up to Power10 in Avon, CT Saturday to FMS screen a Master's Program up there.

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Congrats to all the FRA boats and athletes that raced and performed exceptionally well this weekend!

Overall, I believe this was the best HOSR in a long time, and I personally enjoyed the race course itself. Thank you Al Wachlin!


We are now moving into the winter, and many of you want to continue training. For the next 3 Weeks we are going to UP the volume, but lower the intensity. 

Following the week of Thanksgiving we have 12 weeks until the middle of February which ends the winter season...

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August Captain's Log

#1 Safety. The majority of incidents this summer involved coaches' launches, or boats that were being coached. Please go over the rules of the river with coaches. Also stress that being in a launch does not make breaking the rules more safe. Report all incidents. If you witness an incident and do not report it, but still talk about it, you are a whiner. Be an active part of the change on the river. Incidents will get reported to me, I connect the appropriate captains, they deal with the boats in their houses. Here is the link. If there are any bugs, please submit what you can and report the bug so that we have a report of the incident and can fix the app.

#2 Debris We need to coordinate to remove logs off the west side to aide in weed removal...

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Quaker City Regatta

Many, many thanks for all your participation in the Quaker City Regatta this weekend!  Seems like the event was a great success. Entries were up just a little from recent years, the party was hopping, the weather, if not the algae, behaved, and we had lots of great races.

Thank you to all my volunteers...

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July Captain's Log

#1 The Captain's meeting minutes are in the previous post for your review. As always, it's all about safety. Please be vigilant/cautious about where you turn and how crews are avoiding the weeds . As you may know our President was in an accident , but luckily came out unscathed. You are encouraged to report ALL incidents. Link can be accessed on FRA's Members website or here

#2 Launch drivers needed for this Saturday Youth Regatta. If you can help please do. Meet at city dock . First shift 8:30 am , second 12:30pm. Sign up here to volunteer.

#3 PLEASE HELP AL with the weeds!!! Sign up here to volunteer

#4 KUDOS to Pres John K, his first lady Maureen , Monica, and all who helped make movie night a success. It was well attended and enjoyed by all.

#5 Red Sargent has reported a few security issues at other boathouses. Please keep FRA secure.

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SN Captain's Notes

Collision/Safety Reporting - A reminder to everyone to make sure to report safety issues/concerns on the water. We cannot evaluate data and have informed conversations without the initial input. The goal is to have every rower/coach aware of the email address and reporting link to make reports directly to the system. The representatives from the Schulykill Dragons were in attendance to report on a recent event. We have invited them to attend meetings on a regular basis and shared the reporting link.

Following Rules of the River - Brief discussion about making sure to follow the current rules. All acknowledged that issues with weeds, summer coaches, and low water levels have made it hard to follow the traffic patterns correctly in certain areas on the river.

River Issues by Strawberry Mansion - The low water and weeds have compressed upriver traffic...

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