California State University, Long Beach

A Decade of Service: a message from the Director of Outreach

Saturday, 7. October 2017

Dear Friends, Families, and Alumni,

It has been almost ten years since the Beach Crew Alumni Association’s (BCA) formation took place in October 2008. About 80 people were in attendance. I was going into my last year as a competitor during this time and was selected to be the men’s team captain. In what looked to be a confusing evening of disaster, a few select people were pulled together to form what was the BCA Advisory Committee, the group that formed the association in writing a year later. Go forward eight years later and it became its own non-profit corporation as the team begins to celebrate their 60th season.

I was a spring transfer athlete from Orange Coast College. Since my first visit to the Pete Archer Boathouse in November 2007, I have seen more light shed on Beach Crew from what was a very dark period when I first arrived. While a fundraising organization, the BCA also serves as an adviser to this team’s leadership. Together we have accomplished many feats, including the acquisition of shells such as the Joan Lind Van Blom, John Cashman, and the Amy Fuller. In my own led efforts, the $50,000 launch fleet replacement project, with thanks to many select alumns, friends, and families, was the most challenging project I had done in my life to date. This project had a long-term impact for the team’s image and set the standard of program quality for the next decade. This still doesn’t top the several days I spent in university archives scavenging through old publications, simply to find names of our past, and to have come across a name from 1955, that no one ever heard of. Some questioned this validity and that I was wasting my time digging through rubbish. But it turned out to be true, and what an honor it was to see Dr. Ludwig Spolyar, our co-founder, at the KillaGrams 8+ dedication on November 10, 2012. It is such a surprise seeing him when he seeks me out at the annual WIRA Championships.

Over the last three years, I have turned much of my focus in the sport over to USRowing, first obtaining my referee license and then escalating through the plenary examination as a chief regatta official. On top of this, a rather unexpected but gratifying effort in broadcast media of this sport has been on the rise, almost more than I am able to keep up with. I am blessed to have many friends who have followed. With both of these efforts I have had the opportunity to travel around the country, and soon, maybe the globe, seeing different venues and meeting such great people in this sport, some who don’t even row. The potential problem is that I am wearing too many hats.

After much deliberation, I have made the decision to focus on these other activities in the sport. The 2017/18 academic year will be my last as your Director of Outreach, ending June 30, 2018. I am committed to serving you, so far as I am able, through the end of the academic year and transition such work. After such time has passed, by no means is this a good-bye or sudden disappearance, but rather a change of commitment as a member of the BCA.

I look forward to serving you in the last several months we have together including the annual regatta and the 60th celebration. Perhaps someday down the road after a successful career I will return to serve such a noble cause.

 

Brandin J. Grams ’10
Director of Outreach, Beach Crew Alumni Association

Seasons Greetings from the BCA Board of Directors

Saturday, 24. December 2016

Above: The lights of Naples Canal – Photo credit: John Van Blom

 

Dear Beach Crew Alumni and Friends of Long Beach State Rowing:

It’s that time again where we want to express our gratitude to all of our alums, parents, and friends who make our efforts possible. In 2016, we strived for excellence, including the dedication of the John Cashman 4+, welcoming the Queen Mary as a new premiere sponsor of the Naples Island College Head Race, and the push through the state legislature to approve the naming of the State Highway 1 Cerritos Channel bridge span after Joan Lind Van Blom, specifically noting the BCA’s efforts in the text of Senate Concurrent Resolution Bill 102 (SCR102). Beach Crew is more than just an experience for our athletes at The Beach. It’s a community of supporters who enrich our purpose, our legacy, and the impact to those who seek the experience. Beach Crew is now in its 60th racing season. While we are still defining details on a “diamond jubilee” gathering, 60 years is a feat that should be commended.

We continue to be grateful of our coaching staff and their efforts. Since last spring, our athletes have been coming home with more medals and have finished higher in their respective levels. Long Beach State returned to the American Collegiate Rowing Championships in Gainesville, GA, after a 4-year hiatus. Back at home, the Naples Island College Head Race has gained participation, and with the continued support from The Queen Mary, the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Long Beach Century Club, our efforts continue to climb and make the difference.

In March 2016, the BCA became an independent 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. While we remain a project of the CSULB 49er Foundation, this move enables us to get more of every dollar that you give directly to our efforts and the team’s operations. This also greatly improves our procurement process and response to donors.

Over the past year we have heard several inquiries on where to obtain officially-licensed team merchandise. We are happy to announce a new permanent vendor through Sew Sporty. The BCA also has its own merchandise which you can order directly through us.

CSULB continues to be a university of choice for many prospective students. The campus announced on December 19 that enrollment applications for the upcoming Fall 2017 term have reached an all-time high. The university received a combined 91,268 applications, with 61,716 from first-time freshmen and 29,552 from transfers. Around this same time, Kiplinger’s Business Magazine ranked CSULB 52 in the list of Best Values in Public Colleges and ranked 156 among all colleges. A total of 200 colleges were ranked. We hope to take advantage of this continued trend and introduce the sport those who have never touched an oar.

Before we sign off for the rest of the year, we’d like to remind everyone that if you have not updated your membership for this academic year, please consider that there is still time for a tax deductible donation to the BCA. Your support is making a huge difference in maintaining a quality rowing team at LBSU. You can still send your $25 membership fee and any other contribution via http://beachcrew.org/give/

The team’s Spring 2017 schedule will be released on BeachCrew.org. On the behalf of the BCA Board of Directors, all of us wish you the best for the holidays and into 2017.

Give Now

Go Beach!

Brandin Grams ’10
Director of Outreach

Seasons Greetings from the BCA Board of Directors

Thursday, 24. December 2015

holiday2015

Dear Beach Crew Alumni and Friends of Long Beach State Rowing:

As 2015 draws to a close, we want to express our gratitude to all of our alums, parents, and friends who make our efforts possible. This year brought us some great additions, including the dedications of the John D. Boyle 8+ and the Joan Lind Van Blom 8+. We also saw what happens when we lose someone so special from our community. We all came together. That’s what makes Beach Crew a part of our lives, and it’s one that will be a part of you forever.

The BCA continues to play an advisory role with the team’s annual operation. This year, we welcomed new additions to our coaching staff and have been grateful of their efforts and expertise. One addition we are proud of are the new corporate and business sponsorships, such as the Boathouse on the Bay restaurant. Many of these sponsors have committed annual support to our cause and we are grateful to have this support. The BCA continues to coordinate the Naples Island College Sprints and Head Race with USRowing. There will be some changes to this event next fall, including making it a one-day event and pushing it ahead in November. We continue to be a channel partner with The Rowing Channel (TRC), an effort launched in 2014 by a number of west coast higher-education institutions and the American Collegiate Rowing Association, to bring live coverage of our major events to you. The BCA Saturday Rows continue to be a hit, seeing new and familiar faces from time to time. This has been inspiring our community to get back in a boat. We were daring enough to enter an 8+ in the Men’s Alumni 8+ at the San Diego Crew Classic, only to be shattered by a broken rudder during the first heat.

In 2016, the BCA will be rolling out a new 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. It is currently in final development. This will enable us to get even more of every dollar that you give directly to our efforts and the team’s operations. As we move into the Fall, Beach Crew will enter its 60th racing season and there is movement for a “diamond jubilee” celebration. Our records of activity back in 1956 are still a blur, but we’ve been able to confirm things from our co-founder, Dr. Ludwig Spolyar, from these early days. Nonetheless, you will hear more about this next year as we get closer.

The campus announced that 90,000 students have applied for the Fall 2016 semester, and we are hoping to get a few excellent athletes from that pool. In our own efforts, over 200 people have inquired through BeachCrew.org/join directly to us about rowing at LBSU since we first launched the effort back in Fall 2013. There’s no doubt that people want to come to Long Beach. We definitely have something special here.

Before we sign off for the rest of the year, we’d like to remind everyone that if you have not updated your membership for this academic year, please consider that there is still time for a tax deductible donation to the BCA. Your support is making a huge difference in building a quality rowing team at LBSU. You can still send your $25 membership fee and any other contribution via http://beachcrew.org/alumni/donate

The team’s Spring 2016 schedule will be released in January. All of us wish you the best for the holidays and into the new year.

 

Give Now

Go Beach!

Brandin Grams ’10
Director of Outreach