Click here to fill out and print a Sponsorship Form (PDF)
The Black Fly Scullers thank the following who have generously sponsored the Black Fly Regatta. Please visit their website or their brick and mortar site to learn more about them.
1. Caplan's Army Store 457 Railroad Street, St. Johnsbury, Vermont
Since 1922 Caplan's Army Store has sold real outdoor clothes and sporting goods (including shotgun shells for the start of the regatta) for real outdoor people. I met Dave Caplan several years ago at a local restaurant where I ate oatmeal after my morning sculls on Joe's Pond. Dave is an avid canoeist and over many a breakfast we compared notes about sculling and paddling. When I first dared to ask for sponsors 4 years ago, Dave sent me a check the very next day. He was the very first person to sponsor the Black Fly Regatta and will always have a special place in my tiny Black Fly heart.
2. Pete & Gerry's
Hey, you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette - and a regatta. I first "ran across" Gerry LaFlamme (I'll let you guess which half of the enterprise he is) on the Connecticut River. One fine afternoon in the latter years of the Clinton Administration, whilst making a mess of things in my trusty Peinert, Gerry and his passengers were following me at a respectful but close distance in a motorboat. When I paused we struck up a conversation and they gained my immediate respect by describing my boat as a "shell" not a kayak, and generally complimenting my "sculling." Which marked the first time anyone on that stretch of the river used the word "sculling." I came to learn that Gerry's son, Jesse, and his daughter-in-law, Sandra, both rowed in college in Maine. Time passed (sans motorboat collisions) and in May 2002, I was describing the plans for the First Inaugural Black Fly Regatta to Sandra and her mother-in-law before the start of our weekly yoga class. Sandra said that she and Jesse would enter - which doubled the entries for that year! And her mother-in-law was so intrigued by the planned chaos that she offered on behalf of Gerry and Pete & Gerry's to donate a dozen eggs as first prize in each division. It's been downhill ever since. Now Pete & Gerry's happily donates not only over three dozen of Pete & Gerry's Organic Cage Free eggs as prizes but also underwrites (and at time cooks) the world-famous "Sam 'n Ella's Scullers Breakfast" which features Pete & Gerry's scrambled eggs - rich in Omega 3 thought to promote the development of fast-twitch muscle fibers based on tests at the Black Fly Scullers Performance Laboratory.
Awright, you know everything there is to know about Concept2. But what you may not know is that Dick and Peter were socially responsible before being socially responsible was, well, socially responsible. They take care of their employees and the community around them. And that's not easy up here in the Northeast Kingdom. There's so much that needs to be cared for! I am fortunate that Judy Geer convinced them to adopt The Black Fly Regatta from the regatta-rescue compound. The annual donation of a pair of sculls to the Black Fly Regatta Raffle gives hope to scullers like me who have no chance of otherwise winning a prize.
4. Clean Yield Investments
Speaking of socially responsible, check out the work Rian Fried and the gang do at Clean Yield. Rian and his wife Rachel have spent many a late October Sunday sitting near Eliot Bridge waiting for the collisions. Go green and get green with Clean Yield.
5. Sleigh & Williams
As Warren Zevon sang: "Send lawyers, guns, and money . . ." We got the guns from Caplan's, the money from Clean Yield, and now we got the lawyers. "Sleigh," as he is known because he and his law partner each have the same first name, David, took up sculling to ease the torment of golf. His law firm was among the first to ever sponsor the Black Fly Regatta (and provide pro bono legal defense to all claims made against it). On Memorial Day weekend in 2004 Sleigh, Barbara Corrigan, and I committed the greatest act of architectural and engineering malpractice since the construction of the Bridge over the River Kwai. We lugged no end of pressure-treated lumber, hardware, saws, tools, and cement over a quarter mile across hayfields and corn furrows to build the boat racks permanently affixed to the shore at the three-mile bend of the Black Fly Regatta course. It's our home and we love it. As a little-known, adjunct to his law practice Sleigh was ACLU liaison and legal and technical adviser for the recently released Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo.
6. Gensburg, Atwell & Broderick
364 Railroad Street, St. Johnsbury., Vermont. Sponsors from the get go. Attorney Bob Gensburg, along with Sleigh, has been actively representing detainees at Guantanamo. By the time you row back to the launch area after the regatta you may feel that you want to go there to relax. Feel free to call Bob to thank him for his donation. But watch what you say - the government is eavesdropping.
7. Robert C. Sleigh, Jr.
Don't let the "Jr." fool you. He's Sleigh's dad. The very first person to donate to the Black Fly Scullers Community Boathouse. His personal belief in the Black Fly Regatta/Boathouse is one of those "random acts of kindness" that encourages me to carry on. He's a fine man and a brave soul to mix it up on the water with us lunatics. Take the time to visit with him at the regatta.
8. Baileys & Burke
Jody Fried has always been there. In the early years Jody provided delicious homemade chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies, and bottled water and Gatorade to wash it down. The cookies have given way to "Sam 'n Ella's Sculler's Breakfast," but Jody still finds a way to provide water and Gatorade.
9. McLure's Honey & Maple Products
Those who row know that third prize in each Swarm is a 12 oz. Clover honey bear. McClure's donates three cases of these highly coveted prizes every year. And I mean "highly coveted." I've heard that scullers have thrown the race just to get third place! The bee's knees indeed!
10. Anthony's Diner
50 Railroad Street, St. Johnsbury, Vermont. After you're morning row sit down at the counter at Anthony's for some tasty carbs and caffeine - and local gossip. Go there enough and they'll start gossip about you.
11. Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital
org Thoracic surgeons just love it when they hear I spent 20 minutes at 95% of my maximum HR. For years I thought I was successfully doping my blood there only to learn that their idea of "blood doping" is to give me blood from someone with an IQ of 75. Kidding aside, the good folks there support healthy living initiatives, like sculling, and are dedicated to provided the highest quality medical care to patients in the Kingdom. But I do wonder about their blood doping.
12. Craftsbury Sculling Center
After four consecutive years of attending the week-long camp, the principals of the CSC agreed to sponsor the Black Fly Regatta on the condition that I not travel within a 25-mile radius of their facility. Actually, the idea for the Black Fly Regatta was "hatched" in a quaint room in Tamarack Lodge during Memorial Day Week of 2002. (I hear that room is now a shrine where you can pay homage to the birthplace of the Black Fly Regatta.) It was a misty, cloudy, calm, and extremely buggy week at camp that year. The black flies showed no mercy. One sculler and a Jack Russell Terrier were reported to have succumbed to black fly bites, never to be seen again. Subsequent litigation was unsuccessful as there was a Black Fly Rider to the waiver for that particular week. The folks at CSC are great and a week at CSC is the best tonic for your sculling soul.
13. Mayo's Furniture & Floor Covering
802 Railroad Street, St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Fred Laferriere, owner of Mayo's, doesn't scull. But he should. You can find him skiing the East Bowl on Burke Mountain in his shorts. In February. He and his buddies pick one day in April each year when they ski Burke in the morning and then go waterskiing on whatever open water they can find on the Black Fly Regatta course. This is the first year Fred has been able to help us and we welcome him!!
Ed McNeely has been torturing rowers on the Canadian National Team for years. And I want him to torture you! This year Ed and the folks at StrengthPro have donated some excellent pre-workout and post-workout mixes to our raffle. Visit their website for more information about them, their products, and extremely informative rowing-related articles.
15. Designer Gold
Do you know Paul Gross? It took me years to meet him because he always kicked my butt at every regatta I went to. I never saw him. So I started my own regatta just so I could say hi to him. Conflicted by my endless generosity in the face of his consistent pummeling of me on the water, Paul and the good folks at Designer Gold have donated a beautiful gold oar pendant a chain for our raffle this year. He's gonna massacre me this year! We hope the kind folks at Designer Gold can support us for years to come. If you can't find Paul, please visit with his wife, Peggy Sadler (at least she has the good graces to let me finish ahead of her.)
16. New England Culinary Institute
Last year three students at "NECI" as we call it stepped in at the eleventh hour to prepare the "Sam 'n Ella's Sculler's Breakfast." They did a fantastic job. We hope to have an encore performance this year.
17. Maine Rowing Association
Year in and year out Steve Collins and the crazies from the Maine Rowing Association have let me borrow buoys, bullhorns, watches, and what have you for my duct- tape- and- baling- wire regatta. More importantly, sustained by Mr. Collins' fine home-brewed wines, the august panel of Maine Rowers have acted as the selection panel for the finalists of the Poet Laureate Competition. I encourage you to go to as many of the regattas organized by the Maine Rowing Association as you can.