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South Orlando Rowing Association

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  • 01/02/2016 10:43 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Letter from the President - January 1st, 2016

    Hello to the extended SORA family. I’m Robert McClory and I think most if not all of you know me. I am now acting President of SORA and want to give you an idea of where we’ve been, where we are and where I see us going as a club.

    First, I'd like to thank outgoing board members, President Scott Deweese and Vice President Justin Lednar, for their years of service and dedication to the cause of making SORA great for our members. Without them, we'd not be where we are today. 

    Where we’ve been…

    The past several months have been tough from a “business” standpoint. Rather than concentrate on the “fun stuff”, we have been forced to implement several measures to tighten up how we do things internally so we can keep our 501c3 status and at some point pass an IRS audit if it comes to that. This is not necessary for the general membership to know/be concerned with but I wanted to share that so you understand what the previous board lead by Scott Deweese has been focused on most of the year starting last Summer. Hopefully the trailing edge of that effort is here and we can move forward to things that are more “membership facing” like better planning, communication, etc but first we had to shore up the core of SORA so it was around for the long haul.

    Where we are…

    The efforts of the previous board, a few of whom are still active board members (in the same or different positions), have left SORA as a much more efficient organization in nearly every way from finance to communication. As president, I will try to make sure those changes remain in place as well as putting the finishing touches on ongoing projects. Then I want to turn my attention to making sure your experience, and your rower’s experience is as good as it can be. After all, this is an organization that exists solely to provide our kids and members the opportunity to participate in this amazing sport. It’s not rocket science and it should be fun so my goal is to guide SORA in directions that supports that idea.

    Where we’re going…

    I really want to see us grow as an organization but also grow the participation of each member in the club. We are dependant largely on volunteer efforts by the membership to get certain things done, from the board on down. The only “staff” we have is our coaches, the most important being Katie Lednar, our head coach and director of our program who shoulders a lot of the burden but not nearly all of it. Everyone else is a volunteer. I believe with effective communication of our needs and what can be done to help, most people are happy to pitch in now and then, especially if it means their kids are going to have a better experience at SORA. Together we can create an environment where our rowers can thrive in their training and produce results in competition.

    To that end, I want to ask each of you to be as open as you can in communicating with me any concerns, questions, or comments you may have. I admit that if it has to do with coaching or “on the water” issues, I’ll simply defer to your kid’s coach but I can help make sure those things are heard by the right people.

    I look forward to the rest of the season and serving as your President.

    Thanks for your time!

    Robert McClory
    SORA President

  • 12/13/2015 1:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    This week is Orange County Park's Light Up the Wild at Moss Park!  We encourage all members to see this incredible driving light tour at Moss Park ($5/car)

    However, due to the popularity of this event, please be prepared for increased traffic this week.

    ARRIVE AT THE PARK BY 5:30 PM

    Light Up the Wild begins at 6:30 p.m.  Gates will close for this event at 6 p.m.  ALL MEMBERS need to be in the park by 5:30 p.m. in order to avoid (hopefully) being in the line for Light Up the Wild.

    HS ROWERS without rides in the park WILL BE DRIVEN TO SPRING OF LIFE CHURCH

    If you are not able to get in the park BEFORE the gates close or BEFORE the line starts, parent volunteers or coaches will drive your rower to the Spring of Life Methodist Church (417 and Moss Park Rd) at the conclusion of practice (est arrival 6:30). 

    Please make sure you and your rower have their phones to communicate if they will be brought to the church

    Please be signed up on Text alert at http://www.soracrew.com/texts

    If you are available to be a parent driver for church dropoff, please let coach Katie know at the end of practice on whichever day you can drive.

    MS ROWERS PLEASE BE ON TIME!!!

    If you are late to practice this week (5:30), you will most likely get stuck in Light of the Wild Traffic.

    If at all possible, we encourage all parents dropping off middle school rowers to stay in the park.

    If you are returning at the conclusion of practice, parents please CLEARLY COMMUNICATE that you are picking up your rower (we encourage a right blinker and to have your rowing pass visible) while you are making your way to the park and through the gate. Please understand this is a stressful week for all park employees and be patient!  

    YOUR PARK PASS DOES NOT INCLUDE ACCESS TO LIGHT UP THE WILD.

    We strongly encourage all members to experience this event.  HOWEVER, your park pass DOES NOT include entry to Light up the Wild.  The cost is $5 per car and you must enter through the line (you can not take a left to start your tour).

    Members leaving the park who wish to see Light up the Wild:

    1. Leave Moss Park
    2. When safe, make a U Turn and join the line for Light up the Wild
    3. Pay your $5 at the gate house
    4. ENJOY!

    Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation through this week.  


  • 12/10/2015 11:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thank you to those who turned out to participate in our annual board elections last night. It ended up being a "yes/no" vote on the 5 candidates who will step into or remain to make up the board starting January 1st. 

    President: Robert McClory (Moved from Secretary)
    1st VP: Nikki Slater (Moved from 2nd VP)
    2nd VP: Catherine Williams (Moved from Treasurer)
    Treasurer: Ron Yelland (New)
    Secretary: Louis Estrada (New)

    Stepping away from the board after years of service are Scott Deweese, President and Justin Lednar, 1st VP. Thanks to both of these guys who did a lot to shape what SORA is today. 

    I will be sending an email to all members outlining my goals as President and the direction I see SORA going (or continuing to go) in once my terms starts in January. 

    Robert McClory
    Secretary/Future Prez

  • 11/30/2015 8:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As the 2015 calendar year comes to an end, we would like to thank all of the friends and families of our rowers who volunteered to make this year such a great success.  There are many rowing clubs in this state with larger memberships and much better funding, but none of them hosted three competitive regattas and provided as many programs to our community as we have.  We accomplished all of this because of you. I would like to offer a special thanks to Katie and Justin Lednar for their continued commitment to the success of SORA and in particular for their contributions to our very unique adaptive rowing program for the physically disabled.  I would like to thank our coaches for training our young athletes to be good rowers and even better human beings.  Finally, I would like to thank the kids who love this sport and come to Moss Park eager to learn and train.  They are the reason I volunteered to become a board member over 2 years ago and they are what make SORA the great community organization that it is today.

    The work of SORA will continue on in 2016 and we will need your help.  Please join us at the Annual Meeting of the Membership to be held at 6:30pm on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at the North Shore at Lake Hart HOA - 9339 North Shore Golf Club Blvd, Orlando, FL 32832.  This is the same location that we held the informational meeting in August.  We will be addressing some open business items and holding the annual general election for the Board of Directors for the 2016 calendar year.  

    If you would like to be on the slate and considered for the board of directors,  please send an email to support@soracrew.com No later than Friday, 12/4/2015 to express your interest.  In addition, please review, complete and submit the attached form to support@soracrew.com  by Monday, December 7th.

    SORA Board of Directors Nomination Form 2016.docx

    - Scott Deweese, SORA President

  • 11/22/2015 9:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Link to Giblet Pictures: http://www.robertmcclory.com/2015-giblet

    As always, feel free to download and do with them what you'd like!

    Congrats to ALL SORA rowers for your great performances on the water and your help making this one of the best Giblet's ever. A special congrats to our Varsity Girls 4x (1st Place), Mixed Varsity 4x (1st Place), Middle School 4x (1st place) and Boys Lightweight 8 (2nd place). We also had a number of great finishes just outside the medals. Great job everyone!!!

  • 11/15/2015 12:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    We are just under 1 week away from the Head of the Giblet Regatta!  This is the largest event hosted by SORA each year and we NEED your help to make it a success.

    Please read this email in it's entirety as it contains important information.

    The SORA REGATTA PLANNER will be published Monday afternoon.

    ALL VOLUNTEER positions are posted online.  All members are asked to sign up for at least one shift. Our largest needs at this time for volunteers areParking Lot and On-the-water buoy spotters.  No experience necessary for either position.  We will teach you everything you need to know!https://soracrew.wildapricot.org/event-2006351/Registration

    FRIDAY (11/20) we will be on-site at Turkey Lake.  HS practice will be at Turkey Lake.  Parents, if you are carpooling and able to help, please sign up so we know you will be there and are able to help! https://soracrew.wildapricot.org/event-2077742/Registration

    SUNDAY (11/22) we will unload AT MOSS PARK from the Head of the Giblet Regatta.  This includes unloading the rowing shells (ROWERS ARE NEEDED!) and unloading Giblet-related items to the SORA hospitality and erg sheds.  Please register for the clean-up day so we know to expect you https://soracrew.wildapricot.org/event-2077746/Registration

    MIDDLE SCHOOL rowers are asked to register as racing.  This will allow MS coaches to better set lineups and limit last-minute changes

    https://soracrew.wildapricot.org/event-2091955/Registration

    HEAD OF THE GIBLET VENDOR spaces are still available.  We are up to 35 teams, 300+ entries, 900+ competitors and expecting 3000+ in total attendance.  If you know someone who should be a vendor at the Head of the Giblet, please share the Vendor Link with them: https://soracrew.wildapricot.org/event-2091955/Registration

    Thank you in advance for helping to make this years' Head of the Giblet Regatta a success!

  • 11/10/2015 8:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The 2015 Head of the Hooch was this past weekend and we had 20+ of our high school rowers attend this huge regatta in Chattanooga, TN. 

    Pictures from this year's Hooch can be found at: http://www.robertmcclory.com/p349619652

    The weather was dreary for most of Friday and Saturday but cleared a bit on Sunday while turning very cold (at least for our Florida blood). That said, the water was amazing and some great racing happened. This is a great chance for our team to bond and grow together and a lot of that happened over the course of the 3.5 days spent traveling and racing. 

    The next regatta on the SORA calendar is the Head of the Giblet which is our home/hosted regatta. Much more info to come this week on volunteer opportunities and more.


  • 10/19/2015 1:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    - We've gotten our first two regattas done and we've had some success and have identified areas for improvement. Congrats to our Novices and first year Middle School rowers who completed their their first races!

    - The next regatta on the calendar is our annual travel event for high school, Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, TN. This is a 3 day event with travel and one the kids look forward to. Registration is required and is now live on the events page. A full itinerary with hotel info, etc. will follow very soon.

    - Thank you to our parent hospitality volunteers for feeding our kids. If you were not there for the very end, they all said a big thank you!!!

    - November is Giblet month when we prepare to host our regatta at Turkey Lake. For our new families, this is an "all hands on deck" event where we rely on our membership to put on this great event. If you've been to either or both of the last two races, you see all that goes into making them run... well that's all on us for Giblet. Sign ups will be posted as soon as we have all the details and work is divided up so everyone can both help and get a chance to watch their rower. 

  • 10/01/2015 10:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    First up will be the beginning of our inaugural Monday/Wednesday Middle School session. With the explosion of interest in our program, we've had to add days to fit all the 6th-8th graders. 

    Next is our first regatta of the year, the aptly named First Coast Regatta in Jacksonville on October 10th. This one is for returning high school rowers but the next one on October 17th is for most of our youth/middle school rowers. 

    The details/planner info was emailed to all HS rowers for First Coast but you can also find that info by clicking on the event on our front page. 

  • 09/09/2015 9:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We've now welcomed all rowers for the season with Middle School starting last night and High School rowing starting last week. 

    This week is "open house" for Middle School with all registered and potential rowers invited to attend Wednesday and Thursday before our regular schedule starts next week. 

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