TRR Members of the Month!

Our TRR family is so important. Every single veteran and volunteer who participate in our programs are what make it great! Each month, TRR will recognize a chapter coordinator, veteran and volunteer. Check out our amazing family! 

CHAPTER COORDINATOR

Bob Tracy

VETERAN

Nelson McLaughlin

VOLUNTEER

Michi Dervaes

Chapter: Boise
Years with TRR: 6
 
“My involvement with TRR began on a chance encounter with Dave Robey when we met kayaking the Staircase run on the Payette. I told him I had recently retired and was looking for a way to volunteer to help others. He said he had a deal for me, to set up an Idaho TRR Chapter. In the six years since I agree to be Boise Chapter Coordinator, our fabulous community of vets and volunteers have worked alongside me to build a great program.”
Chapter: New River Gorge
Branch Of Service: Army
Years with TRR:  5 years
 

“A welcoming community is one that believes in equity to reach equality, minimal microaggressions to create inclusion and promotes looking at one’s self to achieve these values. Team River Runner introduced me to this type of community, now I do my best to welcome any Veteran or Volunteer into our programming so they may be lifted up through our community and bring these values into society. “

Chapter: Colorado Springs
Years with TRR:  9 years
Michi is the spouse and caregiver of Army veteran Marc Dervaes
 

“I started kayaking with TRR in 2010 in San Antonio, Tx, during Marc‘s recovery, after loosing his arm. I usually join Marc in his adaptive activities because I enjoy them too. After returning from San Antonio we started kayaking with the TRR chapter in Colorado Springs, CO in 2011. As TRR has helped Marc tremendously in his recovery, I wanted to give back and became the Chapter secretary for the local chapter. I love being able to help getting active duty soldiers, veterans, and their families on the water.”

CHAPTER COORDINATOR

JENNIFER HAHN

VETERAN

JESSE KULA

VOLUNTEER

WILLARD KNEIDL

Chapter: Decatur & Central USA Regional Coordinator
Years with TRR:  4
Jennifer is the Wife of Navy Veteran, daughter of Army Veteran, and granddaughter of Navy & Army veterans 
 
“Serving veterans is my passion!  I loved working for the VA Spinal Cord Injury Service.  TRR combines two of my favorite pursuits, spending time with veterans and paddling!  “
Chapter: Montana
Branch Of Service: National Guard
Years with TRR:  2 years, Jesse is a founding member of our Montana Chapter
 

“My involvement with Trr has been truly inspiring. It is great to go out on the river with others, the TRR community is special. “

Chapter: Boise
Years with TRR:  5 years
 

“When Bob Tracy started the chapter in Boise, he drafted Tim Russer and myself to get the charter started. We had been teaching kids to kayak through Idaho River Kids. Bob was one of my favorite people to kayak with, and I saw this as an opportunity to serve our veterians, and a good use of my time in retirement. 

I did not serve in the military and it has been my privilege to give back to our veterans by sharing an activity I love. It is fun to watch our vets advance in their skills to the point they relax and start playing in the river. Their smiles and laughter is my reward.  TRR has been a blessings as I’ve met a lot of great people, and had a bunch of fun adventures.”

CHAPTER COORDINATOR

CHRIS FARRIS

VETERAN

GETTER RUPPENTHAL

VOLUNTEER

JOHN SU

Chapter: American River
Branch Of Service: Marine Corps
Years with TRR:  4-5
 
“I joined TRR 4-5 years ago in Palo Alto Truly a life-changing event, The River, Bays and lakes of California offer beauty and healing qualities. I started a new Chapter American River, and now I am Co Chair and Facilitator for TRR’s new Diversity Committee, working towards diversifying TRR. I feel a large obligation to move the gift of Paddle sports forward, I am dedicated”
Chapter: Shepherd
Branch Of Service: Air Force
Years with TRR:  7
 
“I found TRR when I was in nursing school after I could no longer serve in the USAF.  Being a part of TRR has challenged me to grow in ways I never imagined, allowed me to connect with veterans I would have never met, and to become a stronger leader.  I will be forever grateful for all that I have learned from those I’ve met in the entire Team River Runner Organization. “
Chapter: National
Years with TRR:  I helped a little years 1-3 of TRR but much more involved since 2014
 

“I have truly enjoyed my continued work with TRR.  I have been able to meet many AMAZING and GENEROUS people.  Being able to repurpose donated kayaks into hand paddles I sell, affords me the privilege to buy kayaks as well as trailers to support our chapters nationwide.”

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