Message from GEORGE FRY:
I wanted to make as many of Igor Grinko’s former rowers and friends aware of events we have planned in November to honor Igor and his contributions to the world of rowing, to the Augusta Rowing Club, and to the lives of many he touched. Some of the details are still being locked down, but most I’ll spelled out below. I have spoken to Jason Gailes this week and, I believe he has been contacted by Glenn Merry, CEO of US Rowing (who is also coming into Augusta for the weekend). Right now we are trying to spread the word. We are hosting back-to-back regattas --- the Head of the South (HOTS) Regatta on Saturday – Nov. 8th and the US Rowing Masters Head Race National Championship (a 3-year old event) will take place on Sunday – Nov. 9th. We would love to see former elite rowers (current ‘masters’ rowers) come to Augusta to compete …. But just having some of you here would mean a lot – particularly to Kira Grinko and Igor’s family.
(I want to acknowledge that several have gone far above and beyond what could be expected to visit Igor while he fought cancer for 2 years. And the number that made the trip into Augusta for his funeral and memorial celebration was amazing. But, I want to do my best to share the info. I also know that there are real-world demands on your time and families [i.e. a brand new baby]. Again, I just want to get the word out. If you have any questions, please give me a call or send an email.)
We are very pleased that the plans are coming together for a Celebration of Igor's life during the Head of the South (HOTS) Regatta on Nov. 8th and US Rowing's Masters National Head Race Championship Regatta on Nov. 9th. The Saturday regatta will start at 8:15AM and conclude at about 5:00PM. We will have a VIP Reception from 6:15PM to 7:00PM and will have a Banquet from 7:00PM till 9:00PM. Donna Jannik is planning a great meal with a local culinary college. We will have the details on our website and on Regatta Central's website in a few days.
We are hoping that Igor's friend Juri Janseen and others from Estonia - and Germany - and friends from around the world will join us for the celebration. We have planned time on the schedule to have a boat dedication as we understand Rainer Empacher would like to christen a boat in Igor's name.
I will provide links below for 3 website that will be used to promote the events for the weekend and allow rowers to register for the 2 regattas.
It is hard to believe that the Augusta Rowing Club will be marking 30 years since the reestablishment of the club in 1984. Igor was a part of the club's history for 20 years!
www.augustarowingclub.org --- General Information and a picture of Igor
https://www.regattacentral.com/regatta/index.jsp?job_id=3728 --- Head of the South Regatta Registration
https://www.regattacentral.com/regatta/index.jsp?job_id=3685 --- US Rowing Masters National Head Race Championship Regatta Registration
If we need to provide formal invitations to selected friends, please get us the information and we will follow up with those letters. Thanks …..
George J. Fry, Jr.
Augusta Rowing Club
Board Member - Augusta Sports Council
By now you have probably heard the sad news that Igor passed away peacefully last week, in the early morning hours of March 18. His funeral was held this past Saturday. We will also hold a memorial for Igor later this year, the details are still being worked out but will be posted here and on the "Igor's Community" facebook page: facebook.com/coachigorgrinko . Please feel free to post your thoughts about Igor on that page. And again, thank you all for your very generous donations to Igor and Kira; you made a big difference in the cost of their care and you sent Igor a very strong message of support.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you who sent your love and well wishes to Igor and Kira. Your donations have been safely deposited into their bank account and their card with all of your names and messages is on its way to them (See photo on the site). Igor was released from the hospital, but has had to make several return visits for pain control and some ongoing drainage. He is still walking as much as he can. Will continue to keep you all posted. Enjoy your holidays and good health!
Thanks to all you wonderful people in the Rowing community, we have reached our fundraising goal! Hurray!!! Every one of your donations counts and will help make their ordeal a little less intolerable. Even after the fundraiser closes, we will keep this site open so that you and others can continue to cheer Igor on by writing your thoughts and wishes for him.
Just spoke to Kira. Igor was pretty sick yesterday - the chemo hits hardest a few days later. But now he is up and walking around the hospital, eating a little more. Still having pain and looking thin. But also still teasing his fellow inpatients and the hospital staff! They are getting to experience that unique combination of exasperation and affection he has engendered in all of us at one point or another. He genuinely wants everyone to do well and succeed, and is always forgiving no matter how much grief we have put him through!
I let Kira know again that there were a great many people who were concerned about Igor and her, and wished them well, and who wanted to make a contribution toward their cancer treatment and support costs. She was very moved by this. We will be depositing your donations directly into their account in the next day or two, so please keep it secret from them for a couple more days! We'll keep you posted on this.
Again, we are very grateful to you all for joining us in sending Igor and Kira our love, prayers and financial contributions!
Igor started chemotherapy today. He remains in the hospital, in not great shape. Not surprisingly, Kira is very concerned and upset. She has already gone through so much with her own health, it is amazing how strong and supportive she is being for Igor.
Of course, you all know Igor, he still has a twinkle in his eye and is still making everyone laugh, and still has a strong determination to get better.
Thank you all for your kind words and wishes and generous donations. All the money raised will go directly to Igor and Kira. There is a team of us working together to run this site and do the accounting, and we will be presenting Igor and Kira with a check and with your sentiments in the next few days - but please don't tell them yet!