By BG Smith, TVCC Treasurer.
Photos Courtesy of Ironman Foundation and Chattanooga Times
The Ironman Foundation recently awarded the Tennessee Valley Canoe Club a $1,725 Volunteerism Grant for its contributions to the success of its 70.3 World Championships and Ironman Chattanooga races held in September 2017.
This brings the total of grants awarded to TVCC in 2017 to $5,375.
“It’s incredibly important for us at Ironman to give back to the communities where we host our events to build a positive, lasting legacy that lingers long after the last athlete has crossed our finish line,” said Sarah Hartmann, Ironman Foundation Community Relations Manager.
Lisa Anderson, Volunteer Director for Ironman Chattanooga, noted that the award to TVCC was one of the larger grants awarded to Chattanooga organizations for supporting the last three events of the year, the Men’s and Women’s 70.3 World Championships and the full 140.6 Ironman Chattanooga. “Thanks again for everything and for all your help during an extremely crazy insane year. I really appreciated all your help.”
TVCC’s own Buck Meyer was the Water Safety Captain for all Ironman Chattanooga events this year and worked closely with Lisa to organize and outfit the support boaters. “Yowza! I am very pleased with the generosity of the Ironman Foundation. It was a crazy year for sure. I am proud of the way TVCC met the challenge and came out to support all the races. We needed about 70 safety boats as a minimum for the 1.2-mile legs and more for the longer 2.4-mile Chattanooga Ironman on September 24th. We got 100 boaters for the last race! Awesome.” Buck noted that TVCC members provided approximately one-third the total safety boats for Ironman events this year.
Previously TVCC was awarded a $650 Volunteerism Grant following the Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga event on May 24th and a $3,000 Community Grant in September in association with the 70.3 World Championships held on September 9th and 10th.
TVCC President Heather Curry summed up the sentiments of all saying, “The Tennessee Valley Canoe Club is humbled and honored to be recognized by the Ironman Foundation for these grants. The funding will allow us to welcome more people to the exciting world of paddle sports and to the beauty of our wild and scenic rivers. It will also allow us to maintain our focus on safety, training, community involvement, and an provide for active stewardship of our natural environment.”
The next Ironman event will be in May 2018. We hope you will join Buck and come out to support the event. Buck wants you to know, it does not have to be in a boat! There are hundreds of other great volunteer opportunities that do not require you to get up at 4:30 AM and drag you boat to the river! Find one you like at the Ironman volunteer sign-up site. See you then!