The New River Paddle-a-thon is returning for its second year as a way for people to enjoy the scenery of the South Fork New River in Ashe County.
The New River Conservancy is working with New River State Park, New River Outfitter, River Camp USA and Riverside Canoe and Tube Rental to continue the event. The event will be a seven-mile paddle on the South Fork New River from the U.S. 221 bridge to the King’s Creek Access at New River State Park.
The length of the Paddle-a-thon will take place entirely in Ashe County. The event will be rain or shine.
“We’re using this event as a way to raise awareness and raise funds for the New River,” said Courtney Wait, advocacy coordinator for the NRC. “There will be a specific deadline and we will celebrate everybody’s hard work with a seven mile paddle.”
Wait is hoping the Paddle-a-thon will bring in $7,000 for New River cleanup. At time of press, $1,589 had been raised online through the event’s Crowdrise page, and 12 teams were participating.
“We do close to 20 (clean-ups) a year in all three states and with those type of projects, we never have enough resources,” Wait said. “Even our volunteers, we would love to give them more for the time and effort they donate to us. Sometimes we just have the bare minimum when it comes to getting some of those activities done. We’re looking to fundraise for a lot of our clean up efforts.”
Wait said last year the Paddle-a-thon had a $5,000 goal. The deadline to raise the money is July 12.
The New River runs 240 miles, excluding streams and creeks, through North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The conservancy helps with cleanups through the entire length of the river.
“We are constantly looking for people not only to register, but to also (donate) to our paddlers,” Wait said. “Also we’re wanting to spread the word on this event.”
At 10 a.m. participants will drop off their vehicles at the King’s Creek Access to drop off vehicles and shuttle boats and at 10:30 a.m. the Paddle-a-thon will begin.
Following the event, participants will continue the celebration at Riverside Canoe and Tube Rental.
For more information, visit the New River Paddle-a-Thon’s Crowdrise page at www.crowdrise.com/newriverpaddle-a-thon2014/. Those who want to donate but not donate online can contact the NRC at (336) 846-6267.
“(Potential donors) can always call our office and we can figure out something to help with the donations, either over PayPal or over the phone with credit card, or if they need to send in a check or something like that,” Wait said. “We will be so happy to help either with registering, setting up a fundraising page or just answering general logistical questions.”
Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.