Rowing club hit by tornado gets a big gift

Rowing club hit by tornado gets a big gift
VANCOUVER, Wash. - In just a few seconds, the Vancouver Lake Crew Club lost almost everything when a tornado wiped out their boats and equipment in January.

The small club with a shoestring budget didn't have the latest gear, but the loss of almost all their equipment was devastating. Still, they vowed to rebuild.

Friday morning, a pickup truck hauling a trailer pulled up to club members with a very special gift: a state-of-the-art 8-person boat, known as a rowing shell.

The shell is a competition-level boat, and only a few years old. It is far nicer than what the club had been using previously.

Club members gingerly lifted the shell off the trailer and unzipped its long protective case to inspect the high-tech boat. They immediately began to assemble the rowing arms.

The shell is a gift from the Tidewater barge company. Tidewater CEO Dennis McVicker said he saw the damage the team endured and was impressed by the nature of the club.

The Vancouver Lake Crew Club has sent several members on to national competitions.