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Inaugural river run supports community beautification

Posted: August 2, 2017

by Stacie Naoum  


Locals got a unique opportunity to see and experience one of the city’s hidden natural treasures, Tinker’s Creek, over three weekends last month. 


The Rotary Club of Twinsburg hosted its first Rotary River Run series in July.  On three Sundays – July 9, 16 and 30 – participants kayaked down Tinker’s Creek while raising money for beautification projects around the city. 


Kayakers launched from East Idlewood Park, staggered between 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and took a 30-minute trip down river, ending at Field Four in Glenmeadow Park. Participants paid $15 per person, which included a one-person kayak, oar, lifejacket, as well as bottled water, a hotdog and chips at the end of the run. The event, held in partnership with the city of Twinsburg, offered residents a rare opportunity to see and enjoy the river in a way that cannot be accessed from running trails or other public areas.


“It was a short course, but it was nice to see Twinsburg from that point of view,” said Chelsea DiBacco, who participated in the event on July 9 with her sister, Carter Dodeci, and their parents, Allison and Steve Doyle. As lifelong Twinsburg residents, DiBacco said the family “always tries to contribute to the community.” 


“We love being outdoors and have kayaked before in Hiram,’’ she said. “It was great that Twinsburg was offering this type of event right in our neighborhood.”


The River Run was the concept of Twinsburg Rotary Club co-presidents Abby Schroll-Fechter and Kathy Turle-Waldron. Fellow committee members Clerk of Council Shannon Collins, Mayor Ted Yates and Assistant Fire Chief Steve Bosso worked very hard to see it come to fruition, said Bosso.


Participants could play corn hole or giant checkers at the end of the run, and although most kayaks were for one person, there were a couple of two-seaters that could be used with kids. 


“It was very family-friendly,” said DiBacco. “Although I did not bring my daughter this time, it was nice to know I could have.”


“Our inaugural Rotary River Run went fantastic; the weather was perfect and everyone had a great time,” said Schroll-Fechter, executive director of the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce. “We had help from so many people: sponsors, community members, community partners and fellow Rotarians. This event could not have been successful without them.”  


Sponsors included Gionino’s Pizzeria Twinsburg, Guy Gentile, Parade of Flags, Jilek Roofing, Jim Mirgliotta, Cindy Leonard, Andrena Righi, Twinsburg Police Association, Twinsburg Fire Local 3630, D & L Towing, A Short Adventure Kayak Rental and Widows Sons Passkeeper MRA.


Schroll-Fechter said proceeds from the event will be invested in community beautification projects. This year, the club’s focus is the firefighter memorial garden located around the message board at Twinsburg Fire Station No. 2. 


Bosso said the committee decided to have the event span three weekends so that the river run would raise enough for the garden renovations. DiBacco appreciates any effort to connect residents with the community. 


“The Twinsburg Rotary Club has done a great job bringing life back to Twinsburg,” said DiBacco. “Having been born and raised in Twinsburg, and now living here as an adult, it is great to see this involvement coming back.” 

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