SEATTLE — Forty-five members of the Sequim High School Interact Club attended a screening of “The Boys in the Boat” in Seattle on Thursday.
“The movie was absolutely amazing. It was very well done,” said Colleen Robinson, advisor for the students and liaison to the Sequim Sunrise Rotary Club, which has created a fundraiser around the film.
Also attending from Sequim were teacher Chelsea Rechimar, also an advisor, Principal Erin Fox, Superintendent Regan Nickels and members of the Sequim School Board, Robinson said.
The film, directed by George Clooney, was screened in Port Angeles on Friday evening as part of A Tribute to Joe Rantz, who is central to the film. The tribute, which included the screening followed by a gala at the Sequim Museum & Arts, raised funds for the Joe Rantz Rotary Youth Fund.
The Sequim Sunrise Rotary Club aims to raise $750,000 to build a home for homeless teens, so they can have stability in safe living quarters to finish high school. For more about the project, see https://joerantzrotaryyouthfund.org.
The film, based on the book by Daniel James Brown, tells of the University of Washington rowing team’s capture of the Gold Medal while representing the United States at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
Joe Rantz attended Sequim High School while struggling with homelessness after he was abandoned by his father and stepmother. He eventually moved to Seattle, graduated from Roosevelt High and earned an engineering degree at UW. He was among those who won at the Olympics.
The Sequim High School Interact Club and Rotarians connected with Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures production partner Grant Heslov online, and they and school officials have been working on logistics for the screening for months.
Students also created a video earlier this year about the project and lobbied for a screening of the film locally to aid the fundraiser for homeless teens.
Thursday’s screening also was attended by Brown, Gov. Jay Inslee, and Amazon CEO Andy Jassy among other notables, according to The Seattle Times.
The film is distributed by Amazon MGM Studios, which provided the rotary club with a courtesy screening of “The Boys in the Boat” in response to requests from Sequim High School students. It specified that “neither MGM, its affiliates, nor anyone connected with the film is involved in any of the Joe Rantz Rotary Club’s fundraising efforts.”
The Joe Rantz Rotary Youth House would house 12 teens with room for three emergency drop-ins. A social agency would manage it, according to the Rotary website, and teens would have counseling, mentoring and internships.