Wall of fame, new shell names unveiled

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Wall of fame, new shell names unveiled
Barbara “Babs” Donahue pours champagne on the racing shell. (Photo/Don Gale)

SHREWSBURY – The Shrewsbury boathouse was filled in early April as the “wall of fame” was unveiled.

The wall was Jimmy Hess’ Eagle Scout project; Hess is a member of the Boys 1V Crew and a Life Scout in Troop 114 in Shrewsbury. As part of the project, the wall shows photographs, oars and memorabilia from the Shrewsbury High School Crew’s history. It honors state, NCAA, national and world champions.

“This project fuses my two favorite and largest extracurriculars, scouting and crew,” said Hess. “These communities have given me so much, and this project allows me a chance to give back to the one while growing through the other.”

In addition to a ribbon cutting of the wall, the ceremony also unveiled the names of two new racing shells. The two shells honor two Shrewsbury families who have been integral to the program since its inception in 1937 – Barbara “Babs” Donahue and Ken Burns.

Donahue and her husband, Jim, were the driving force behind the funding and building of the Donahue Rowing Center, which is the home to both Shrewsbury Crew and other rowing clubs. The Donahues donated many racing shells and equipment to the high school over the years.

The school recognized this support by naming the 2023 boys 1V 8+ racing shell the “Jim & Babs Donahue.”

Oarsman and Chief of Police, Burns founded the Shrewsbury Crew in 1937. During his 45-year tenure as head coach, Burns’ vision and dedication led to national championship victories for Shrewsbury. The Shrewsbury girls 1V8+ boat was named the “Ken Burns.”

Wall of fame, new shell names unveiled
The ribbon is cut on Jimmy Hess’ Eagle Scout project. (Photo/Caeley Gale)

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