Case in point: American Whitewater and its campaign to take down Oregon’s Condit Dam. When the association heard about New Belgium Brewing Co.’s Skinny Dip for a Cause contest, where a $10,000 prize is granted to the non-profit cause with the most votes, it went to work rallying paddlers to put their Web savvy to work.
The result: American Whitewater winning the poll with 1,000 more votes than the next leading non-profit, and the $10,000 prize. In so doing, it beat out such other non-profit contenders as Surfrider, Save the Poudre, American Rivers and the Yampa River Awareness Project.
When asked how they felt to winning this competition the answer was nothing but appreciative and appraising. “It’s exactly this kind of grassroots activism that enables American Whitewater to be an effective voice for river restoration,” says Executive director Mark Singleton.
Long a supporter of various paddling events, including FIBARK, the Paddling Life Invitational and more, New Belgium offered the contest as a way to support environmental causes. “With one of our two major sustainability initiatives being water conservation and quality, it of course makes sense for us to support water-based non-profit organizations with monetary donations,” says New Belgium’s Branding Activities Manager, Adrian Glasenapp.
This is far from New Belgium’s first dive into non-profit support. “We give a dollar per barrel (around $500,000 this year) via our New Belgium philanthropy program to non-profits around the country, many of which are working on water issues,” adds Glasenapp.
This time it was AW landing on top, with the funds going to support their Western Rivers Protection and Restoration Campaign. “The Western Rivers Protection and Restoration Campaign that seeks to do three things, leverage grassroots support for Wild and Scenic Rivers protection, remove outdated dams like the Marmot dam in Oregon, as well as provide grassroots support for climate change protections that do not dam small streams,” says Singleton.
And don’t think that sitting back and drinking New Belgium is all you can do to help. The options are endless. American Whitewater always needs volunteers for its projects, and so do local organizations, even more so than the larger ones. Get out there and get active unless you want your local run turned into a few megawatts.