The Dee Campbell Spring Sweepstakes takes place every year to allow the parents of student rowers to socialize while raising money for the crew team. This year, the event took place at the Old Dominion Boat Club (ODBC)’s boathouse.
Jasmine Milone, the vice president of Alexandria Crew Boosters (ACB), the fundraising group for the crew team, said, “We started planning for this three months ago. We have a nice relationship with ODBC. We’re one of the two organizations they sponsor, which means we don’t pay a rental fee, so we get to keep more of the funds raised.”
ODBC sponsors the fall rowing program, when multiple high schools in the area– which can include Wakefield, West Potomac, McLean, Washington and Lee, and TC– row out of the Dee Campbell Boathouse, and compete under ODBC’s emblem. The relationship has been around for decades.
At the event there are baskets and other prizes that are auctioned off to make profit for ACB. The baskets contain themed items like “A Day At The Beach” or “Movie Night”. Typically, each boat on the team will come up with a basket and each rower will donate something relating to the theme. Despite expenses for the drinks, caterer, band, and cleaning, the ACB is able to keep and donate the money that is raised through the auction.
Milone said that the main point is that the night is “a social event, we want people to get to know one another.” She added, “This year we’re giving a renewable need-based scholarship through the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, called the Dee Campbell Scholarship, which is $3,000. We give preference to somebody who has rowing experience with us but we’re really making it more open to students who have a need.”
Mike Souza, the president of ACB, said, “We do this event once a year. This is one of several big fundraisers we do throughout the year, another one being Spring2Action, which is a citywide event for nonprofits.” Spring2Action this year is on April 25.