In January, three members of the SCKC (Tim Ahern, Stan Mrzygod, & Clint Thatcher) had the opportunity to attend a meeting of a paddling organization for wounded military veterans called Team River Runner. This is a national 501(c)3 non-government organization, which was established in August, 2004, at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC. Team River Runner partners with the Wounded Warrior Project and DSUSA. The mission of Team River Runner is to create an environment of healthy adventure for healing active duty and veteran service members through paddle sports. The veterans have sustained a multitude of injuries including gunshot/shrapnel wounds, amputations, traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder and others.
The Spokane chapter is new and was started by two local whitewater paddlers, Jim Davey and Steve Mckee. Jim and Steve have been working with disabled veterans in a local pool with an emphasis on whitewater paddling skills. Jim and Steve identified the need for open/flat water paddling (sea kayak, recreational kayak, canoe) to be included in the program and contacted your SCKC Paddle Board for assistance. Tim, Stan, and Clint (all veterans themselves) responded and attended Team River Runner’s January meeting and have offered their support as Team River Runner instructors.
Part of our newly assigned duties is scrounging up equipment (boats, paddles, vests, etc.) for our flat/open water needs, and we will also gladly accept any whitewater gear as well. Most of us who have paddled for a long time have more gear (even boats) than we can use anymore. So we need you to recycle your old, unused equipment and donate it to our local wounded warriors and help them in their recovery from their wounds. If you would like to help out our returning veterans please contact Tim Ahern.