FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hahira, GA, April 29, 2018 — With the first-ever winner from Florida and a new record time, the next two categories one each from Tift and Lowndes Counties, Georgia, and a record number paddlers from 4 to 67 years old, the BIG Little River Paddle Race at Reed Bingham State Park Saturday was a fun time and a successful fundraiser for Friends of Reed Bingham State Park (FORB) and WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS).
Lloyd Reeves drove three hours from Crescent City, Florida, with a very fast kayak, to become the first-ever Florida winner, and he proved himself a winner in another way with the prize.
In addition to the First Prize trophy, winner Reeves got a hundred dollar bill from race organizer Bret Wagenhorst of WWALS. and a matching hundred dollar bill from Dianne Walters of FORB. Reeves then donated both Benjamins back to the contest. Now that’s a winner!
Lloyd Reeves is in the white kayak in the upper left, outlined by sunbeams, ready to go at the beginning of the race. In the other white kayak in the foreground is Phil Hubbard, WWALS Outings Chair, who was not far behind at the finish.
She registered the previous day, and won a prize: Tracey Vellidis of Tifton, Tift County, Georgia.
WWALS volunteer Amy Wiegenstein of Valdosta handed over the prize, as WWALS board member Shirley Kokidko watched from behind the food table.
Five-time winner Dwight Griner did not race this year, and the river was running faster, so it’s not completely comparable, but Dan matched Dwight’s time from last year.
This pair won a prize, and then WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman, who the first year won what she calls Best Swimmer for falling out of her kayak and still being the first solo female kayak paddler, gave them a Faller’s Award for falling in after finishing.
More about who they are tomorrow.
The youngest paddler was very young.
A full list of winners in each category with their times will be available Monday.
About WWALS: Founded in June 2012, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, and Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities. Bret Wagenhorst has organized the BIG Little River Paddle Race for WWALS with FORB for six years now. Since December 2016, John S. Quarterman is the Suwannee Riverkeeper®, which is a staff position and a project of WWALS as the Member of Waterkeeper® Alliance for the Suwannee River Basin. For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar or the WWALS outings and events web page. WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times newsletter.
Bret Wagenhorst, Race Organizer
John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper
WWALS Watershed Coalition
PO Box 88, Hahira, GA 31632
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!