We can’t thank you enough for making our inaugural Shiver in the River an enormous success. We came up with the idea, set up the site logistics, planned it, and pulled it off in an amazing short period of time. It usually takes a year to plan something like this, and we have all of our volunteers and partners to thank for that.
So, this past Saturday, when it was just a smidge under 42 degrees and the James River was running a cool crisp 37.8, around 400 people showed up to Give 60 and help us do a cleanup. The northern bank of the James around Tredegar Iron Works haven’t looked this good in a long time. With so many showing up, we split off almost 75 brothers from the University of Richmond’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon to head over to Pony Pasture for an auxiliary cleanup. These young men (according to Brandon Jordi who handles their philanthropic and charity work), collected 10 pretty decent sized bags of recyclables and 10 decent sized bags of trash.
After the Cleanup, 150 hearty and crazy souls stripped down to Speedos, vintage suits, and costumes to wade through chest-deep water, give a shout-out to Richmond Fire & Rescue, and scramble back across and up the shore. Big hugs to the guys and gals at RF&R for being there with their boats. They didn’t save any lives, but they were lifesavers. Our James River Jumpers then shivered over to the heated tent where they enjoyed delicious BBQ and dumplings from Lunch/Supper skipper Rick Lyons. Yum.
There were a few take-aways from the Shiver in the River. First is that our job (and by that we mean all of us) is never done. Pony Pasture is one of the most popular spots along the James in Richmond, and it was obviously in need of care. Same goes for the areas around Tredegar. Second is that we need to do a better job of spreading our message. One of our main goals with the Shiver was to raise funds to do that. And we still need your help. As a non-profit, we only exist because of your donations of time and money. Lastly, we realized that acting crazy to help keep Virginia beautiful can be a blast. We didn’t expect as many people to show up as did, and really appreciate that. So, our Second Annual Shiver in the River is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, January 30, 2016. Just saying.
We also welcome your feedback on how we can make Shiver in the River bigger and better. Use the comment section below, or hit us on Facebook or Twitter to tell us what you think. If you’d like to be a part of planning this wacky thing next year, head over to our Make a Difference page, click “Education/Other,” and tell us you want to be a part of the Shiver crew.
And those of you who played this year – You Rock.