Unity in the community

To the Editor:

Each year, Down A River, Down A Beer and Protecting Our Water-Ways (POWW) have worked hand-in-hand for their annual summer festival. This year, the two found a unique way to promote volunteering to help our waterways and support community events: by sponsoring a cake incentive during Cakes for A Cause which benefited The Piqua Community Foundation.

The intent was to make people aware of these organizations, their volunteer efforts and their upcoming events. Down A River, Down A Beer will be Saturday, Aug. 4, and will kick off with a float and recreational time on the Great Miami River (GMR). Jeff Lange, founder of POWW brings canoes and kayaks to the river and encourages others to bring their own as well. His goal is to get people out in a canoe or kayak, especially if they have never been in one or on our river. It is wonderful to see the interaction and delight that these people experience with everyone out floating about and enjoying the GMR. The cake came with two kayaks, paddles, life vests, and two tickets to Down A River, Down A Beer. Jeff Lange also happens to teach kayak lessons at the Miami County YMCA, so Jeff and the YMCA included kayak lessons at the Piqua branch to the highest bidder, which added even more to the cake incentive.

Awareness, education, volunteerism and recreation for our waterways through community events such as the Clean Sweep of the Great Miami River, Down A River, Down A Beer and Cakes for A Cause are good opportunities to get the word out to people and families in and around our community. These events can get them directly involved with their river and help them understand how their involvement will make a difference for this resource in their backyard.

Jeff Lange and his crew leaders are always in need of hands to clean up the river. Mark your calendar for Saturday, July 21 (third Saturday of July), and visit the Protecting Our Water-Ways (POWW) website at www.protectingourwaterways.org

for details on how to volunteer.

Sign up and be a part of this year’s Great Miami River Sweep. And on Saturday, August 4, at Down A River, Down A Beer you will floating in our beautiful and clean Great Miami River downtown Piqua at Lock 9, thanks to all the GMR Sweep volunteers.

We wish to thank and acknowledge community collaborations that bring our citizens together, once again making Piqua a great place to live, work and play.

— Jim Burkhardt, Down A River, Down A Beer

Jeff Lange, Protecting Our Water-Ways

Cheryl Burkhardt, Piqua Community Foundation