Media Contact: Mike Bradley
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UT-Battelle donates $60,000 to Oak Ridge rowing center
Nicole Porter, ORNL General Counsel and a member of the Oak Ridge Rowing Association, prepares for some rowing on Melton Hill Lake. UT-Battelle has donated $60,000 to ORRA to build new regatta launch docks at the Melton Hill Lake rowing site and help make Oak Ridge the nation’s premier location for competitive rowing. (hi-res image)
The gift brings UT-Battelle's total contribution to the rowing association to $123,000 since 2000. The latest donation will supplement the $100,000 in capital improvements to the rowing site approved Monday by Oak Ridge City Council.
"UT-Battelle's corporate outreach philosophy is to identify a small number of large legacy investments rather than a large number of small ones," said Jeff Wadsworth, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Our strategy is simple. We have the water. If we add a first-class rowing facility, Oak Ridge will attract an increasing number of rowing competitions that will generate significant revenues for the city."
Previous gifts from UT-Battelle include the construction of a finish-line tower needed for national rowing competitions.
ORRA President Mary Jane Sill said, "Support from the city and UT-Battelle, along with the lake's ideal rowing conditions and natural beauty, combine to make Oak Ridge the South's premier site for competitions, regattas and other national rowing events."
The Oak Ridge Rowing Association, formed in 1979, hosts more regattas than any other club in the nation. The 2005 U.S. Rowing Club of the Year, the association was the site of the Masters National Championship Regatta in 1984, 1988 and 2004, as well as a number of national collegiate and high school competitions. Oak Ridge will be host to the NCAA National Championships in 2007. The events attract thousands of visitors and bring thousands of dollars to area hotels and restaurants.
"The Rowing Association is an excellent example of how the corporate community can work with the city on a project that will bring returns for years to come," Wadsworth said. "If this is a priority for the city, together we can make Oak Ridge one of America's top locations for competitive rowing."