Our Mission

Holyoke Rows reaches beyond the traditional rowing population and makes passive river recreation accessible to the entire community by eliminating the physical, financial and social barriers to participating in our programs.

Our Vision

Holyoke Rows is a non-profit community organization located at the Jones Ferry River Access Center along the Connecticut River in Holyoke. It was founded by Stephanie Moore in 2000 with the goal to offer a rowing program open to everyone.

This organization believes in the positive influence of sports. Rowing fosters leadership skills, individual confidence, and teamwork to achieve success. Holyoke Rows is committed to the overall preservation of our community. Rowing is a low impact, environmentally friendly sport and through its capacity to engage multiple populations – youth to seniors, beginners to experienced, able-bodied to those with challenges – helps to strengthen ties within communities.

We believe the benefits and opportunities rowing offers should be available to any who seek them. We hope our boathouse can be a welcoming and safe place to experience personal growth and fulfillment, and to enjoy the Connecticut River.

Our Staff

Stephanie Moore, executive director/coach

Stephanie coached college rowing for 10 years at UVa, FIT, UMass and Trinity before shifting her focus to community rowing. Since 2000 she has been working with the City of Holyoke and the community to develop an active waterfront in Holyoke.

Ciara Prieto, summer youth program director/coach

Ciara started with Holyoke Rows as a high school rower and coxswain. Throughout the years she has been a coxswain for the masters program and an AmeriCorps volunteer with the high school program and camps. She has  finished her Associates Degree from HCC  and is currently enrolled at Westfield State.

Jeanne Branchaud, coach/assistant/volunteer

Jeanne brings years of administrative, teaching and boating experience to the boat house. She fills in any where we need a hand – on the water, in the office or in the boat bays.

John Hooks-Davis, paper city regatta director/rower

John is a jack-of-all-trades. In addition to the huge task of organizing and running our annual regatta, he also donates numerous hours to repairs and painting in and around the boathouse. He is a long time member of our masters rowers.

Board of Directors

Stephanie Collela, president

Andy Fisk, secretary

Terri Theroux, treasurer

Nora Blake

Jim Brooks

Dawn Chipman

Brooke Heisler-Leary

Nicole Hendricks

Kevin Lonergan

Stephanie Moore

Alan Symington

Peter Tomb


Nice? It’s the ONLY thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing… he went on dreamily: messing about… in… boats; messing…

– Kenneth Grahame from The Wind in the Willows

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