Grant News = Good News!

• The Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame has awarded a $2,000 grant to the BSRA that will be used to buy new sculling oars for our program!

• We thank the Peter and Judy Spira Philanthropic Fund for their gracious support of $1,000! 

Profile: Robert Fries

His father, Eddie Fries, rowed and coached at West Side. His uncle Charlie also rowed, becoming a U.S. Champ and going to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Eventually, the water called out to Robert Fries as well, and Bob responded with enthusiasm.

ªI started rowing in 1968 at the now defunct Niagara Frontier Rowing Club (NFRC), affectionately called Nif-Rick,” Bob said. “It was located on the Erie Canal in Tonawanda, and I rowed with some O’Hara guys. I moved over to West Side in 1969 when NFRC shut down. 

“I went to Sweet Home High School which didn’t have a team, so I took up sculling. In 1971 I won the Champion single at the Canadian Secondary School Championships.”

Bob attended the University of Buffalo and rowed varsity crew, and during the summer months he rowed and sculled for West Side. He also served as West Side’s treasurer while they were building their current boathouse after a fire destroyed the old Ferry Street boathouse. 

Bob partnered with Mark Kostrzewski to row a double in 1984, and won the Master double at the Henley in 1989.

“I retired for the first time in 1991. Mark talked me out of retirement in 2011 to help get the BSRA going and to row a double again … which we are still doing. I have been the BSRA treasurer since 2012.”

Bob worked in the Finance Department at  Univera Healthcare for 32 years. He lives in Clarence with his wife Kim and they have five grown children.

Important Dates 

June 1-3: CSSRA Championships (Canadian Schoolboys) 

June 4: U23 Sculling Program starts, 5:30 to 7:30 a.m.

June 4: End of Spring Season BBQ at 5p.m.,  and dock dedication at 5:30 p.m.

June 9: BSRA info table at Elmwood Village Farmers Market on Bidwell Parkway.             9 a.m-12 p.m.

June 12: BSRA Board meeting, 7:30 a.m.

June 16: U17 & U19 Men's and Women's Summer competitive season, 8 to 11 a.m.

June 16-17: Brick Walkway Project — batch one brick display. Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday 8 to 11 a.m.

June 23: Try-It Day! 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for anyone interested in learning more about this sport. Ages 12 and up.

Summer programs are open for registration! Please visit the Event Calendar on our website for information.

SRA Results

At the Scholastic Rowing Association (SRA of America National Championships), Canisius High School had three boats advance to finals. The Junior Varsity Men's 4+ placed 5th, the Lightweight Men's Varsity 4+ placed 3rd, and the Men's Lightweight Varsity 8+ placed 6th.

Light 8+: Zachary Porter, Max Battaglia, Alec Adams, James Oh, Kyle Flynn, Alessio Fatta, Jeffrey Mueller, Zach Mecca and Cox: Owen Witmann.

JV4+: Connor Long, Thomas Feeney, Connor Sullivan, William Ezquerro, and Cox: Sam Sullivan.

Lightweight V4+: Ryan Walter, Will Herzog, Charlie Korn, Nathaniel Sass and Cox: John Weckerle.

Buffalo Seminary’s Junior Varisity 4+ of Isabel Finkbeiner, Rae Griffin, Emma Hammel, Anya Casey and Jess Napier had good races but did not make it out of semifinals. 

Grace Graney and Sabrina Lonas from the BSRA U19 Women’s Team competed under their high school City Honors in the girls Junior Varsity Double (2x) placing 4th overall. 

Shop BSRA 

We're adding a BSRA online store! Please visit our website,, for photos and prices. Thank you for your support!

Construction Update

We have retained Kulback's Inc. to finish enclosure of our building. We expect the building to be enclosed in three to four weeks. Ellicott Development will start interior work right after.