Biweekly Info Blast

  1. Staff Introductions
  2. Next Pool Session
  3. KAOS!
  4. 4th Annual National Kayak Football Tournament
  5. Rec Fest at Penn State Harrisburg
  6. Eastern Regional Rendezvous
  7. New Boats
Staff Introductions
We’ve had some exciting updates to our chapter staff – two new people who have stepped up to carry some of the massive load!
Sue Shaffer has agreed to work with us in the capacity of Outreach Coordinator. Her email address in the email header above. Sue brings an incredible amount of energy, a stack of great ideas, and a huge network of contacts, resources, and colleagues in support of Team River Runner. We will be working to stand up some resources that are Sue’s brainchildren: a link on our website devoted to living with and working with disabilities, fundraising ideas, and a regular newsletter. We’re still working the details on these, but stay tuned! I will devote an email blast to the rollout of each of these so you will have specific information about them.
Jenn Eaton, whom many of you already know from our Kids are OuttaSight! program has taken the plunge and joined our staff as the KAOS Coordinator (her email is above as well). Jenn’s role is somewhat unique in that she is also leaning out nationally as the “main bellybutton” for KAOS information and networking for TRR chapters around the country who are increasingly stepping up to offer this incredible program – one that started in the Susquehanna Valley chapter! Jenn is continuing her kayak training and is becoming a better paddler day-by-day. Expect to hear from her as we get closer to this year’s KAOS expedition sometime this summer…she will need your help to staff what might be a massive paddle-fest for blind and visually impaired kids and their families.
And, although he is not new to us, I feel I need to remind you all that Roy Hargrove remains our trusty Chapter Secretary, adaptive paddling outfitter genius, and significantly funny fellow. Whenever you need an answer about a Chapter issue and can’t get in touch with me, Roy’s your man!
You can see that we have a great team who are here to work for you. Please, don’t hesitate to contact any of us with your thoughts, ideas, needs, etc.  We’re here for you!
Next Pool Session
Due to a conflict with the Hempfield Rec Aquatics schedule, our next pool session will be SUNDAY, February 26 from 5:45-8:00. Click on the Calendar link (above) for details.
The first KAOS-2017 planning session was held on 2-16-17 at VisionCorps. We discussed dates, fundraising, volunteer levels, trip details, and the Explorer’s Picnic. We have some dates in mind and will share them as soon as we can firm them up.
Remember, the KAOS events are considered a Veteran’s Service Project. Veterans have a need to serve…that’s why we enlisted in the first place. This service-before-self mentality follows us into our civilian lives. If you are someone who has this heart to serve, consider becoming part of this program. For those Veterans in OJT-type situations who need documented volunteer or service hours for the various programs in our region that require them, TRR will be glad to provide documentation of your hours for this event.
4th Annual National Kayak Football Tournament
Time is running out to register! If you are interested in going, please LET ME KNOW ASAP y replying to this email. We need to get your name on the access control list with Walter Reed National Medical Center’s Security Police. If you have a Military or Retiree ID, your entry is already authorized; however, if you are brining any non-military people with you to this event, they will need to register. If you have questions, please let me know.
Visit to see what this is like!
Rec Fest at Penn State Harrisburg
TRR will be participating in a big way at the Global Abilities Foundation Rec Fest at Penn State Harrisburg on April 1st. We will be in the pool with three or four adaptive boats, providing an opportunity for attendees who are interested in trying kayaking in a safe, controlled environment. The pool is small and we only have half of it (adaptive SCUBA will be working in the other half), so space is limited. I need six to eight volunteers.
To volunteer for this event, let me know! I need to get you registered with the Global Abilities Foundation as a volunteer so they can get you on the list, provide you with a variety of information (including our favorite – the HIPAA disclosure agreement), and a T-Shirt. Joe Mornini has indicated he will be coming up for this; if you’ve not yet met the Executive Director of Team River Runner, it is worth signing up just for this opportunity to rub elbows with the man who started Team River Runner back in 2004.
Eastern Regional Rendezvous
Lance Sharp, our Easter Regional Coordinator, has invited everyone from the TRR chapters in his region to attend a paddling rendezvous in Fredericksburg, VA April 28-30. The event flyer is attached to this email. The facility sounds amazing!
There will be paddling opportunities for all skill levels, a ropes course, and other recreational activities over the weekend. If you are interested in going, let me know so we can look at camping and carpooling options.
New Boats
We recently received two new Dagger Mamba 8.6 kayaks to replace two very old kayaks (one of which we later discovered had a significant structural failure that was hidden by the seat). We are also getting in the next couple of days a brand new Creating Ability adaptive kayak. This will allow us to retire our loaner adaptive “franken-boat” and expand our adaptive paddling program a bit more. These boats are funded through donations and grants by the VA and other organizations.
Outreach for fundraising is a critical activity for the chapter, one that we’ve not done such a great job at in the past. That’s where you come in. If each of the 135 people on this email could talk to one friend or family member about the great things that TRR does and how they can help us to serve those who benefit from our programs by donating the cost of one meal out ($12.75 per meal per person according to the Business Insider), then we could raise – in this one simple act – $1,708.50 to help fund trips like the Rendezvous or events like KAOS or buy a custom, bent-shaft paddle for an adaptive boater. It is that simple! While your friend or family member eats mac-and-cheese dinner one night, they could visit from their smartphone and help send a veteran on a great paddling trip where they will find healing and camaraderie.
As always, keep your friends close, paddle with a buddy, and I look forward to seeing you soon!