It was with great sadness that the paddling community recently saw the passing of one of it’s most respected members: Hendri Coetzee. Hendri was a premiere paddler and explorer, taking on some of the most challenging and unknown rivers in Africa. More than that, Hendri was, by all accounts, about as nice a guy as you could hope to meet. For those unfamiliar with Hendri we suggest reading over the fascinating blog he kept at http://greatwhiteexplorer.blogspot.com/ or reading his obituary in The Economist.
Hendri has, no doubt, had a lasting effect on the beautiful rivers of Africa through his explorations of them and much more. Now through his memory, he is having a lasting effect on the rivers of the United States too. Recently Priority Worldwide Services and Fluid Kayaks each made a $25,000 donation to American Whitewater in Hendri's memory.
American Whitewater was deeply humbled to be selected as an organization worthy of this level of support, and in memory of such an individual. As with every dollar and every cent donated to us by our supporters, we'll be doing our very best and using it wisely to save rivers.
We'll leave you with Hendri's closing remarks on what was to be his final blog post: "As hard, warm drops trashed at our little selves and a pair of goats, we stood precariously on a unknown slope deep in the heart of Africa, for once my mind and heart agreed, I would never live a better day."
Postscript: for those of you wondering how to make donations in someone's name or memory, please see our FAQ entry on the topic.