Crew Booster Says Chick-fil-A Promo Misunderstood
Linda Herzog says the rowing team doesn't have a stance on same-sex marriage, and wasn't expecting such questions during a recent fundraiser.
It's a chicken-and-egg-on-face question.
Which came first: the Chick-fil-A cow, or the moral outrage associated with the fast food franchise's stance on same-sex marriage?
"It didn’t even cross my mind until we started hearing the feedback when we were there," Herzog said. "I never put it together, honestly, in my head."
Herzog said she knew about the flap surrounding Chick-fil-A but didn't think that the appearance of the company's mascot at the event would be construed as an endorsement of a political stance by the team—even in gay-friendly Collingswood.
"I think all the families who have kids on the team and who have lived in town for a while are very aware of the stance Chick-fil-A has and what our town is all about," she said.
"But I think they are also very aware that we support our kids, we are here for our community, and part of that is supporting our small and mighty team."
In fact, Herzog said, Collingswood crew had run the same prize-wheel coupon promotion at May Fair without incident.
"We raised a nice little bit of money for it, and we were just looking to replicate again this time," she said.
"In the meantime, a political issue has come up which we think has nothing to do with our mission, which is to get people aware of the crew team."
Chick-fil-A was brought into the event, Herzog said, because one of the crew parents works for the company. She also said that parent has been addressing complaints about the Chick-fil-A's position on same-sex marriage since the issue was broached.
"I know they had a couple people make some comments to them, and they said basically they’re not here for a political agenda; they’re here to raise money for the club," Herzog said.
Crew is a very expensive sport, Herzog says. Boats run in the neighborhood of $25,000 and up, and in the 11-year history of the club "a lot of that equipment we got when we first started was used" and donated.
"We have fees to maintain a spot at the boat house, to pay a coach, and we work very hard to keep our dues as low as possible to make the club accessible to everybody and make up for it through fundraising efforts," she said.
With 20 kids, on average, participating in the club, dues last year were still $800 apiece, she said, which remains among the lowest in the region, as compared with those paid by rowers on the Moorestown and Haddonfield squads.
That's why, Herzog said, the club has tried a number and variety of fundraisers in the past.
"We’ve had jewelry sales, coin toss, hoagie sales; we’re having a beef and beer October 19, the first time we’ve had one of those in eight or nine years.
"We want to do things that are a greater presence among the community," Herzog said.