CAMBRIDGE — The Head Of The Charles Regatta (HOCR), the world’s largest two-day rowing competition, announced recently that its charity program has reached the $1 million donations threshold, a milestone highlighting the organization’s commitment to the rowing community as the regatta marks its 50th year.

One of the world’s preeminent rowing competitions, the 2014 Head of The Charles Regatta presented by BNY Mellon, features a variety of races for U.S. and international rowers of all ages and abilities. The 50th regatta, scheduled for Saturday, and Sunday, Oct. 18 and Oct. 19, is expected to attract 11,000 competitors and more than 400,000 spectators.

The Head of the Charles Regatta Charity Program was established in 1998 to offer rowers the opportunity to raise funds for charities in the two communities that support the regatta — Boston and Cambridge — and to provide the rowing community and regatta team the opportunity to offer their support to some very worthy endeavors.

Each year, the regatta selects two program beneficiaries from these communities and calls on rowers to help raise funds for the organizations. Rowers who commit to raising $1,250 for the charity program beneficiaries are guaranteed entry into the Regatta event of their choice, including single scullers, doubles, and teams of fours and eights, provided they meet all eligibility guidelines.

In the last 16 years, the regatta has joined with rowers in their fundraising efforts by matching contributions dollar for dollar and making sizable donations to various charities, contributing to this year’s $1 million milestone. The 2014 program beneficiaries include Cambridge Community Foundation, which provides funding for direct social services in Cambridge, and Community Rowing Inc.’s para-rowing program, which makes the sport of rowing available to people with intellectual and physical disabilities.

“As the nation’s largest regatta, we strive to support local charities in the community that has made the regatta so successful over the last 50 years,” said Fred Schoch, the Executive Director of the HOCR. “We are grateful to our athletes who join us in these efforts and are excited to witness the charity program giving more than $1 million back to the charities that are so vital to our community.”

Under a separate fundraising initiative, with a focus on supporting the rowing community, the Head Of The Charles has elected to support the National Rowing Foundation, the organization which fundraises on behalf of the United States National Rowing team athletes. The Head Of The Charles has announced a $30,000 donation to the NRF in 2014, funding that will go toward supporting rowing’s elite athletes in competition at the 2014 World Championships in Amsterdam, Netherlands and their pursuit of the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

“The NRF could not be more pleased with the generosity of the HOCR in supporting our national team athletes,” said Charles Hamlin, Executive Director of the NRF. “The Regatta and the NRF have a mutual desire to see that our national teams have the best possible opportunity to compete successfully on the world stage. Their overall success fuels the growth and reach of our sport, and the individuals who represent us become points of aspiration for the entire rowing community.”

The 50th race will provide the perfect opportunity to highlight the growth and success of rowing worldwide. As has become tradition for the regatta, the 2014 HOCR weekend will feature a world-class field of competitors, drawing elite athletes from around the world and the United States. Athletes from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand will compete, alongside U.S. competitors from across the country.

In honor of its 50th race season, the regatta will feature multiple special events, including the HOCR 50th Gala Dinner with an anticipated 700 guests; a documentary exploring the 50-year history of the regatta, which has captivated rowers and spectators alike since 1965; and a history exhibit, to be located upstream of the Eliot Bridge, near Hospitality Row on the banks of the Charles River.

For more information on HOCR, its charity program and the 50th celebration, visit

About the Head Of The Charles Regatta

Celebrating its 50th racing, the Head Of The Charles Regatta is the world’s largest two-day regatta, attracting more than 11,000 rowers and 400,000 spectators to the banks of the Charles River. Racing takes place on Saturday, Oct. 18 and Sunday, Oct.19, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The Regatta attracts youth, collegiate, masters, para-rowing, international, world champion, and Olympic athletes competing in 61 events. Follow HOCR on Facebook and Twitter.