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Tom's of Maine to Support Local Paddlers

Posted: 07/01/2004
by Thomas O'Keefe

Contact: Thomas O'Keefe,, (206-527-7947)

University Kayak Club, a local American Whitewater Affiliate Club, Receives $5000 Grant from National Park Foundation and Tom's of Maine

For Release: July 1, 2004

Seattle, WA - The University Kayak Club announced today that it has received a $5000 grant from the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner of America's National Parks, to be used to formalize river access sites to provide public access and address bank erosion issues. In addition the funds will assist us in increasing awareness and developing interpretive and safety materials appropriate for this river. American Whitewater will administer the award.

Thomas O'Keefe, a member of the University Kayak Club and Regional Coordinator for American Whitewater notes that, "This funding will provide the foundation necessary to build a great coalition of groups eager to address resource degradation issues, enhance user experiences, and provide safe and convenient access to the river. We are ecstatic to have the strong support of Tom's of Maine which will be essential in translating our initial ideas into on-the-ground reality."

This grant to the University Kayak Club is part of Tom's of Maine's National Rivers Awareness Program, of which the National Park Foundation is a key partner. The Rivers Awareness Program will enable partner organizations of the National Park Service Rivers & Trails Program to accomplish tangible, on-the-ground conservation projects along specific rivers while increasing public awareness of local river issues. The Rivers & Trails program provides National Park Service professionals to work with community groups and local and State governments to conserve rivers, preserve open space, and develop trails and greenways. Funding from the Rivers Awareness Program will assist paddlers from the greater Seattle region -plus ten other projects around the country - implement plans the National Park Service has helped them make for protecting or enhancing rivers that their communities care about.

Sarah Chappell Armentrout, Tom's Group Team Leader of Corporate Communications & Values Development, states, "Tom's of Maine is proud to work side-by-side with The National Park Foundation and our other non-profit partners in our campaign to save America's troubled rivers. Though hundreds of retail stores are participating in the program, our success is measured not in number of products sold, but in the ultimate impact these efforts will have in raising awareness about the need to protect and sustain our natural world."

Over the past two years, the Foundation has granted more than $70,000 to local conservation groups through Tom's of Maine's National Rivers Awareness Program.

"Rivers are a vital part of the American landscape and the American story," said Jim Maddy, president, National Park Foundation. "Tom's of Maine is a great partner to help ensure that America's rivers continue to enrich our lives."

The National Park Foundation ( is the official nonprofit partner of America's National Parks. Created by Congress in 1967, the Foundation strengthens the enduring connection between the American people and their National Parks. Over the past five years NPF has raised more than $66 million in direct support for National Parks across the country.

Tom's of Maine, founded in 1970, is the leading manufacturer of natural care products. Tom' uses pure and simple ingredients to create safe and effective natural care products without artificial dyes, sweeteners, fragrances, preservatives, or animal ingredients. The company's mission includes caring for the health and well-being of the environment and our communities. For more information on Tom's products and the National Rivers Awareness Program, visit

American Whitewater (AW) is a national 501c3 non-profit and is celebrating its 50th anniversary. AW is headquartered near Washington, DC and is devoted to river conservation, stewardship, securing greater public access to the nation's rivers, and providing educational and safety information to the river running community. AW represents 88,000 boaters through memberships and club affiliations.


Jennie Goldberg
3048 62ND AVE SW
SEATTLE, WA 98116-2706