Head of the Harbor Results

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Nov 182012

Hello All,

Today was the Head of the Harbor, and the end of the Fall racing season. Today’s Aztecs did “well” – much better than in recent times – but, nothing like what happened much of the time in your days. One step at a time, little-by-little, things are changing. Here is my “report” to you – I hope that as I spend time couching things for you, I don’t come off as making up excuses. We have a long way to go …….. but I wish to pass along the fact that we are moving, once again, ‘UP.’ My mantra to myself now, when I or we don’t live up to my expectations, is to remember the axiom = “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

I think that it is safe to say that this Fall was “successful” in that a couple of important corners were turned. The team was doubled in size, for one thing, and the Varsity – which now does not have to add beginners into its boats every other day – is improving along with the Novices. More to do, of course = lots, really. But some important changes are occurring in tone and level of expectation ……… and, overall, the culture is beginning to feel the impact of you guys being around (Aaron Polllock came to the races again = he has been at every, single event this Fall = Eric Barge and Scott Dillard were there with coaching support and our Aztec Tent, food, and water – as always!!!!!!) and of the new equipment.

Our Varsity Lt. 4 had nobody to race in its classification, and so they raced heavyweights. They rowed reasonably cleanly and did not come in last …….. but were just overwhelmed by the size problem (they are very, very small – even for lightweights – they are positively tiny). The Varsity 8 had a row that was not bad at all. This might sound odd to you, but instead of being a minute behind at the end (last year’s experience), they were just a couple of lengths off the back.

The Lightweight Novices were let down when both USC and UCLA’s coaches pulled their crews from the race = this would have been their chance to race against “pure novices.” Instead, the championship NARC crew was put out there (and spanked us – to be sure) and Coast (yes – Orange Coast is now entering into the fray in lightweight rowing) put in a preppie crew. We actually did pretty well to hold onto the experienced Coast crew until the last 1K!

The 2nd Novice 8 came in 3rd (behind Coast – duh – and Irvine, which is now just about the deepest club team in SoCal), defeating USC, UCLA, and UCSB. The 1st Novice 8 also came in behind Coast and Irvine – too – and trailed USC (again – preppies involved here). They defeated UCLA, UCSB, and LBSU.  (We found out later that both UCLA nd UCSB had about a half a boat of preppies each).

The world certainly has changed, with all of these experienced freshmen rowing for so many teams (both of the crews in our town – USD and UCSD – give financial support to incoming rowers …….. no kidding!!!!!!!!!), but I think we are on the right track. After talking to kids and coaches from all over, I am convinced that we have the BEST “genuine novices” in SoCal. Maybe not where we want to be, but – again – the first steps are being made …. and I like the attitude of these young men.

Well, you know that I can talk forever – about Aztec Crew in particular – and so I will just say bye for now, and that you’ll get another update in a few days.


 Posted by at 6:27 PM

More Posts

 General Announcements  Comments Off on More Posts
Nov 182012

Our coach, Doug Perez, frequently sends out emails to his many contacts.  These emails can be sent as often as 3 or 4 times a week.  I’m going to start posting some of these emails, so you can stay in closer contact with the team!

 Posted by at 6:26 PM

November 2012 Alumni Newsletter

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Nov 032012

Hi Everyone,

The fall rowing season is here!  In this month’s newsletter, we will cover the following topics:

*  Team Status
** Varsity 8
** Lightweight 4
** Novice Program
** USC Scrimmage
* Fall Schedule
* Fundraising Update
* Fall Alumni Event (Nov. 11)

Team Status

This year’s team is the largest team SDSU has fielded in the better part of a decade.  The team currently has a Varsity 8, a lightweight 4, and 3 full novice 8s.

Varsity 8:

This year’s varsity 8 features many returning rowers from last year’s squad, along with several novice’s that have returned from the previous season.  Unlike previous years, all 8 rowers are heavyweight guys, and will not be pulling double-duty with a lightweight boat!

Lightweight 4:

The 4 rowers that raced in the ARCA championships have graduated.  However, a new batch of lightweight rowers are looking forward to exceeding the accomplishments of last year’s 4.  One exciting thing is that this team is the first full time lightweight team SDSU has had in many years!

Novice 8s:

This year’s team has 3 full novice 8 boats at practice every morning.  The potential of this team is very exciting.  There are a few lightweights and heavyweights that are already surprising the coaches with solid erg scores.  The team has been rowing by 8s for the past couple of weeks, and have been improving greatly every morning.

USC Scrimmage:

On October 13, the USC Trojan Crew traveled to San Diego to perform a scrimmage against the SDSU Aztecs on Mission Bay.  USC has about the same number of rowers as SDSU, so this was a good chance for the two teams to get an early season indication of where each boat was.

The varsity 8 lost to USC’s team by a couple of boat lengths, however, they were significantly faster than they had been in years past.  The lightweight 4 followed the tradition of many previous SDSU lightweights by beating the USC heavyweight 4 by multiple boat lengths.

The first Novice 8 also lost by a couple of boat lengths to the top USC novice 8, however, they had an equipment failure during their piece, as well as an adventure trying to make a turn.  The second and third Novice 8s all won their pieces by a significant margin.

At this event, a large number of alumni (Gregg Buckley, Mark Leeds, Scott Dillard, Allan Miller, Mary Miller, Aaron Pollack, Josh Gruenberg, Michelle Pius, Eric Barge, Marisa Barge, Carter Goodnough & Dan Smith to name a few) fed the rowers after a morning on the water.  It was quite fun hearing old stories (some for the 10th time 🙂 ), and encouraging the current rowers

Fall Schedule

If you are around Southern California, and you want to watch a race, feel free to stop by and talk to the team & coaches:

Sunday, 11 November = “San Diego Fall Classic” on Mission Bay
Sunday, 18 November = “Head of the Harbor” in the LA Harbor.

Fundraising Update

Everyone from the foundation wants to thank you for your generosity.  We’ve received donations from over 25 people from all eras (1960s, 1970s, 1980s & 1990s), and many more have promised to contribute.  The total amount of the contributions already received is over $15, 000 and your generous donations keep rolling in!  Between what we have received already, and the commitments from our former rowers, we will have raised over $100,000!  Special thanks goes out to Josh Gruenberg for helping fundraise for a brand new Resolute and to Scott Petry, who worked his contacts at Cal to help donate two like-new boats and some oars to the team.

We are encouraging all former athletes to donate something.  It’s a great opportunity to support the team, and let’s get donors from all of the eras to help rebuild the team!  Feel free to contact us ( if you have any questions.

Fall Alumni Event (Nov. 11)

The past several years, SDSU Crew has hosted a fall event for our alumni.  This year’s event will be on November 11, at the north end of Ski Beach.  The festivities begin at about 7:30AM, where we will be able to watch the teams race.  The last rowers should be approaching the finish line around 10AM. Once the racing is finished, we will dedicate a new shell called the “Henley ‘85”.  This boat is going to recognize the 1985 team that represented SDSU in the famous regatta.

The Board of Directors at the Foundation is going to provide some food for this event.  Andy has volunteered to provide some of his tasty smoked meats, and there will be some other munchies there, too.  Let us know if you want to attend, so we can provide enough treats for everyone!


Donations are always accepted, and as a 501(c)3, any donation to the Beekley Rowing Foundation is tax deductible.  Feel free to contact us ( or at:
H. Del Beekley Rowing Foundation

 Posted by at 7:31 AM

2012 Fundraising Effort

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Oct 102012

In September 2012, the H. Del Beekley Rowing Foundation kicked off a fundraising effort to help fund new equipment for the rowing team.  Coach Doug Perez writes the following:


We have heard in the last five days from a bevy of new donors. Commitments have come in from John Denker, J.J. Jingali, Greg Moore, Leif Olsen, and – just today – Don Miner. WOW! People seem to be getting on board on a rolling basis!!!!!!!

And too, as I intimated a week ago, Scott Petry has re-thought his already amazing commitment – and is now purchasing two, matching, state-of-the-art 8s … one for the Varsity Heavies and one for my Novices. Then too, he has purchased several sets of oars to go along with them. Again – WOW!


We have received almost $14,000 in donations at this point (not including commitments from others) and we have received money from rowers from just about every decade: 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s & 2000s.  If you can help out with this effort, please consider donating.  (The goal is to purchase 3 new 8’s for the team, plus a new 4, and a set of oars to go with each shell)

 Posted by at 6:07 AM

Beekley Foundation Annual Meeting Minutes

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Apr 152012

Thanks to everyone who came to the annual meeting at Woodstock’s pizza.  We had quite a few former rowers (and current rowers on the team) make it out.  Since the team made 25% on whatever we purchased, I’m sure that the team made a couple hundred dollars!


The meeting began a few minutes after 6PM (the scheduled start was 5PM, however, many members requested a delay to watch the novice 8 race in the petite finals)

All 5 officers (Jake Wittler – President, Andy Olson – VP, Jon Singer – Treasurer, Dan Smith – Secretary & Lawson Navarro – Team President) were present, as well as about 20 alumni, a handful of team members and a handful of supporters.

Lawson talked about the status of the team.  There are 33 active members of the team (28 rowers and 5 coxswains).  The team has been growing the past few years, and the team looks forward to seeing a larger turnout next year.  After Crew Classic, there are 3 races left for the team.  The team is looking to raise some money to travel to Georgia for the ARCA rowing championships (in a lightweight 4 boat)

Dan spoke about some of the items the foundation has worked on over the past year.  We were able to send out more emails to our alumni, we helped organize the “War Games”, where the William Francis was dedicated.  From a social standpoint, a bunch of former Aztec rowers went to watch the Padres play last August, and we look forward to seeing you at the SDSU/UNLV baseball game on May 5.

Jon talked about the foundation financials.  The endowment fund still has around $11,000 in it, and the “day to day” account currently has about $1,500 available.  There are many ways to donate, cash and check can be mailed to the foundation, and we will be happy to provide you electronic routing information.

Andy was looking for ideas on how to get more alumni involved.  The foundation hasn’t grown as much as we had hoped.  Our long term goal is to generate enough money for an endowment to subsidize a full-time coach’s salary.  Some ideas were generated, and will be put into action by the board.

The same board was reelected.

Thanks to everyone who came.  We look forward to everyone attending the next meeting:  April 6, 2013.

 Posted by at 1:55 PM

Late March 2012 Newsletter

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Mar 302012

Hello Former Rowers, Alumni and Rowing Supporters,

The San Diego Crew Classic is rapidly approaching, March 31 & April 1.  This is the biggest event on the Beekley Foundation’s calendar.  Like every year, it’s a great opportunity to meet the current rowers on the team, see alumni from years past that you have not seen in many years, and be able to set the direction for the foundation for the next year (including electing the next set of officers).  Keep reading below for more information about the Crew Classic:

Crew Classic
* Team events
* Annual Foundation Meeting
* Concert
Team Schedule after Crew Classic
Team spot on ESPNU


Crew Classic

As noted above, the Crew Classic is right around the corner.  Come stop by, watch the team race and enjoy a beautiful weekend on the bay.


Crew Classic Team Events

This year, the SDSU Men’s Crew team will be sponsoring 2 entries.  The Varsity 8 races on Saturday at 7:40 AM against Drexel, Notre Dame, USD, UCLA, Rollins & Arizona State.  (Depending on how they finish, they could race again Saturday afternoon (3:30PM), or Sunday morning (8:40AM or 10:30AM).

The Men’s Novice race begins on Saturday at 10:20AM. The “novies” will face UC Davis, Gonzaga, Rollins, University of British Columbia, Champan and UCSB.  If the team finishes in the top 4 spots in their heat, they will either race at 5:30PM on Saturday evening or at 11AM on Sunday morning.

The Beekley Rowing Foundation has also sponsored an alumni boat.  That boat races on Sunday at 12:20 against Rollins Alumni, UCSB Alumni, Santa Clara Alumni, Brown Alumni, Crew Runnings and Notre Dame Alumni.


Crew Classic Foundation Meeting

This year we will be having our annual foundation meeting at 5PM at Woodstock’s Pizza in Pacific Beach.  We’ve arranged to make this meeting a fundraiser for the team as well.  Present the attached coupon to the Woodstock’s staff when you order, and the team will get 25% of your purchase.  (We will have extra coupons at the race course on Saturday if you forget to print out your own)

As usual, the meeting agenda is filling up.  If there is anything specific you would like to see discussed, please let us know ( or bring it up during the Open Forum.

Beekley Foundation Meeting
Woodstock’s Pizza

I. Welcome & Introductions (Foundation President, Jake Wittler)
II. Team Status (Team President Lawson Navarro)
III. Foundation “Year in Review” (Foundation Secretary Dan Smith)

i. Frequent Emails

ii. War Games

iii. Padre Game

iv. SDSU Baseball Game (May 2012)

IV. Foundation Financial Review (Foundation Treasurer Jon Singer)
V. Desire to get more people involved (Foundation Vice President Andy Olson)
VI. Open Forum
VII.  Election of Officers (Jake Wittler & Andy Olson)


Crew Classic BBQ

Once again, the Foundation will be putting together a BBQ on Sunday, April 1.  We will have our normal Carne & Pollo Asada Burritos for your enjoyment.  This is a great place to sit back and watch the races while meeting new people and seeing old friends.

The team will be selling gear for you to purchase.  If you need a new SDSU Crew Shirt, hat, sweatshirt, bumper sticker or any other goodie, this is a great opportunity to pick it up!


Crew Classic Concert

For those of you who enjoy good beer and good music, the Crew Classic is hosting a new event called the “Brew and Crew.”  This event features 15 local breweries sampling beer, plus musicians.  Tickets are $40, and they include 10 beer tastings, plus admission to the main Crew Classic racecourse.


Team Schedule after Crew Classic

The Crew Classic marks the start of the second half of the year for the team.  The schedule is as follows:

4/14 → Covered Bridge Regatta in Dexter, OR
4/21 → Parker Cup in Newport Beach, CA
4/28 – 4/29 → WIRA races on Lake Natoma, CA

If you happen to be in the area on one of those weekends, stop by and support the team!

Team Spot on ESPN U

Earlier this season, the SDSU Men’s Crew team filmed a spot that will air on the Jumbotron at Crew Classic, plus will be shown on ESPN U during the telecast of Crew Classic.  Make sure that you find the time to watch this!


Donations are always accepted, and as a 501(c)3, any donation to the Beekley Rowing Foundation is tax deductible.  Feel free to contact us ( or at:

H. Del Beekley Rowing Foundation

 Posted by at 8:19 PM

March 2012 Newsletter

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Mar 042012

Hi Everyone,

The spring racing season is almost upon us!  The team has been putting in the effort to get faster this year, and we have lots to discuss!  Also, the San Diego Crew Classic is quickly closing in, and this year would be a great year for you to attend if you haven’t been in a few years!

Team Update
Crew Classic – March 31 & April 1
SDSU Baseball Event – May 5
Team Fundraisers
* Crew Classic
* Escript
* Rent A Rower


Team Update

The team keeps growing in size.  During the winter break, the members of the team were actively running around the SDSU campus recruiting new rowers. All said, 7 new rowers and 4 new coxswains have signed up to represent the red and black!

The team has continued fundraising for a new racing shell.  Over $2000 has been raised and the team is continuing to raise more money.  Feel free to contact us or them if you are interested in donating to this cause, otherwise, try to participate in one of the many fundraisers the team has going!

The spring season has just begun.  The team is in the midst of racing every week for the next 4 weeks.  Next weekend they travel to Newport Beach to race against USD, UCSB, UCI, Long Beach and UCSD.  The following weekend (March 10), they head out to Arizona for a race against ASU in the Desert Sprints.  The next weekend, they will be on Lake Natoma in a dual-meet against UC Davis.

After that, the team takes a weekend off to prepare for the Crew Classic!  See the team’s full schedule here:


Crew Classic

This year, the Crew Classic will be on March 31 & April 1.  This is a great event for everyone to attend, especially if you haven’t attended for a few years!

The SDSU Men’s team is looking to enter 3 events this year.  Also, an Alumni boat, consisting of rower from the early 2000s will be participating on Sunday!
As usual, the Foundation will be putting together our annual BBQ on Sunday.  We’ll be cooking up Carne & Pollo Asada Burritos, along with various snacks. This a good opportunity to mingle with fellow alumni, meet the current rowers and see lots of rowing!

The Crew Classic also represents the time when the foundation hosts our annual meeting.  We are still working on a final location and time, however, the meeting will likely be at 5PM at the Woodstock’s Pizza in Pacific Beach.  (We are trying to work out a system where a percentage of everyone’s purchases goes to the team)

This event is designed to elect the foundation leadership, review what has been accomplished in the past year, and to set the direction of the foundation over the next year.  It typically takes about 90 minutes, and it is worth your time.


SDSU Baseball Event

On May 5, the foundation is putting together another event.  This time, we will be attending the SDSU baseball game at Tony Gywnn Stadium.  Tickets are $8, and we will likely meet up at a restaurant before the game.  We’ll have full details available at Crew Classic!


Team Fundraisers!

Crew Classic Tickets

The team is still selling tickets to the Crew Classic!  For $10, you’ll gain admission into the festivities, and the team will get $2.  Your last day to get the discount is  March 16, so contact Lawson (the team president) ASAP!


The team had been using eScript for Vons Club customers, however, they have recently discontinued that program.  However, by entering your credit card information, the team will earn 2.5% whenever you dine at a participating restaurant.  To enroll, follow these instructions:

Click the “Join Now” Button.
Create an account (if you don’t have one, or re-login with your existing eScript information)
Click on the “Add Cards” link.
Enter your credit card information.  (You will not get charged)
That’s it!

Rent a Rower

As usual, the team is willing to extend a helping hand to your manual labor chores.  With a simple email to Coach (Brian Robison <>), he can arrange to have many young men arrive at your house to perform this work!  All it takes is a donation to the team to make it happen!  The rowers are able to work off their annual dues this way!


Beekley Foundation Information

The Beekley Foundation was founded by SDSU Rowing Alumni with the intention of pooling together our resources to help SDSU Crew regain the competitive level it once held.  If you are interested in making a donation, please contact us ( or by mailing a check to:

H. Del Beekley Rowing Foundation

 Posted by at 4:11 PM

Happy New Years!

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Jan 022012

Happy New Years from the Beekley Foundation.  We look forward to 2012!

 Posted by at 3:01 PM

Late Summer Newsletter!

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Aug 142011

Hello Fellow SDSU Rowing Alumni, Family & Friends!

The foundation has lots of exciting information to share with you in this late summer newsletter: As always, keep an eye on our website ( for the latest updates!
Table of Contents:
1.  Alumni Event @ Angels Stadium on August 20
2.  Del Mar Horse Races (Date TBD)
3.  Aztec War Games/Fall Alumni Weekend (Oct 8 -9)
3.1 Alumni vs.Team Race (Oct. 8 )
3.2 Boat Dedication (Oct. 8 )
3.3 Football tailgate before SDSU/TCU (Oct. 8 )
3.4 Golf Tournament (Oct. 9)
4.  Crew Team Update
5.  Foundation Update
Let’s get started!
1.  Alumni Event @ Angels Stadium
Alumni Dan Smith (Rowed 1997-1999 & current foundation secretary) is heading to Angel Stadium next Saturday, August 20 to watch the Angels take on the Baltimore Orioles at 6:35PM.  He has invited all alumni to come join him.  Tickets are going to be about $30 each.  This is a good chance for Orange County alumni to get back in touch with the team and foundation!  However, those living in San Diego shouldn’t feel left out.  Angel Stadium is a short train-ride away!   Take Amtrak train 785 (leaves Solana Beach @ 4:35PM) to Angel Stadium.  You can catch a ride home on train 592 leaving the stadium @ 9:11PM.  Respond to this email if you are interested in going.  He will be purchasing tickets no later than Wednesday this week.

2.  Del Mar Horseraces

Alumni Mike Clodfelter has offered to put together a day at the Del Mar Races.  The season runs until Sept. 7, so stay tuned for an update!

3.  Aztec War Games/Fall Alumni Weekend

It’s time to mark your calendars for the Aztec War Games/Fall Alumni weekend.  This year, the event will take place on the weekend of October 8/9.  The members of the foundation are hoping that we are able to re-connect with a large number of alumni this weekend, as the goal is to turn this event into the fall version of the “Crew Classic”
3.1  Alumni vs Team Race
Grab your rowing gear and jump into a shell.  The current rowers on the team have challenged the alumni to a race.  This is a good chance to get back in the waters of Mission Bay, and a fun way to find your favorite seat in a rowing shell.  Let us know if you’re willing to compete, because the foundation is trying to acquire some “competitor” shirts for the participants.

3.2 Boat Dedication

The family of Alumni Andy Drilling have recently donated a shell to the program in honor of his grandparents.  The shell has been named “William Francis.”  After the race, we look forward to christening this new shell!

3.3  Tailgate before SDSU/TCU Football Game

After the morning rowing events, enjoy an afternoon in San Diego, before heading to Qualcomm Stadium to watch the SDSU/TCU football game.  The game kicks off at 7:30PM, and it’s a good chance to see SDSU’s much-improved football team play last year’s Rose Bowl Champions.  The foundation will be tailgating before the game and we hope that you can join us!

3.4  Golf Tournament

On Sunday, we are putting together the Second Annual Beekley Foundation Golf Tournament.  This year we will be playing at Mission Trails Golf Course.  Once again, it will be a 4 man scramble.  Let us know if you are interested in playing, so we can reserve a spot for you.  (If you can’t put together a 4 person team, but still want to play, let us know, and we will pair you up with other alumni!)

4.  Crew Team Update
This year, the team looks forward to having its biggest returning class in many years.  There are 16 to 18 rowers that will be returning!  (While many of us remember having much larger returning classes in the past, this is really exciting, as just 2 years ago, there were only 5 returning rowers)  The team is going to hit the recruiting trail hard once school starts on August 29.  The team was also recruiting players at the Freshman Orientation a few weeks ago, and they are looking forward to growing!  If you have any questions, feel free to contact the coach (Brian Robison: for more information.  He has also invited our alumni to come down to the boat-house to observe a practice if you’re interested!
In our next newsletter, we hope to have the schedule posted for everyone!  Also, be aware that the Crew Classic will be taking place on the March 31 & April 1.

5.   Foundation Update

The foundation still continues to work to raise money to support the team and to keep our alumni in touch with what’s going on.  We look forward to hearing more from our alumni regarding what they want to hear regarding the team, and ideas that our alumni base has for events or fundraising opportunities.  We’ve been excited to see some of our alumni get involved with the program again, and we are looking forward to hearing from more alumni!  Send us an email to catch up, join our alumni group on LinkedIn or follow the foundation on Twitter!
All of us in the Beekley Rowing Foundation thank for supporting the team!
Jake Wittler     Andy Olson      Jon Singer     Dan Smith
President        VP                   Treasurer       Secretary
 Posted by at 3:56 PM

August 2011 Meeting Minutes

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Aug 022011

We had a lively meeting on Monday.  In attendance was President Jake Wittler, VP Andy Olson, Treasurer Jon Singer, Secretary Dan Smith and coach Brian Robison.

We discussed many topics.  Of note, a former coach is interested in coming back to coach the team.  The money to make this happen would be raised by our alumni, and much of the money has been committed already.  Nothing is set in stone, but the team and foundation are very interested to learn more.

Much time was spent discussing recruiting for the year.  The team expects at least 16 rowers back, and they are looking to add quite a few more bodies to the program!

Finally, we have several events coming up:

1)  Mark your calendar for the weekend of October 8 & 9.  We will be hosting a giant SDSU rowing weekend.  It kicks off on Oct 8 with the Aztec War games.  Come down to the boathouse and jump in an alumni boat to race the current team.  Following that, there will be a dedication for the new William Francis boat, which was donated to the team by Andy Drilling’s family.  After the festivities at the boathouse, we invite you to come watch the SDSU football team host TCU at Qualcomm Stadium.  We will be tailgating beforehand!  Finally, we will be hosting a golf tournament on Oct 9.

2)  Day at the Del Mar Races & Anaheim Angels Baseball game:  Stay tuned for upcoming dates!


Read the full meeting minutes here

 Posted by at 7:51 PM