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Thank you year-end donors & volunteers!

Posted by Rebecca Lavigne at Jan 06, 2010 04:15 PM |
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Imagine the scene:

Fireside Grand Ridge

It's New Year's Eve on the Grand Ridge Trail in Issaquah. WTA crew leader Mike Owens and two dozen hearty volunteers arrive to get some work done. While most of us are taking a holiday, they brave the cool, damp weather to shape a section of the trail into something that will shed water and stand up to the pounding of boots, hooves and mountain bike tires.

A mountain biker approaches the group, hitting the brakes. When he asks if he can make a donation, a volunteer points to "the guy in the blue hat" (Mike Owens) about 800 feet below. The biker proceeds to write a check to WTA, on the spot, for $750!

It turns out he was riding Grand Ridge before King County Parks decided to turn it into an official trail. He told Mike that having this trail to use every day is the best thing that could have happened to him.

Most gifts to WTA come through more conventional channels. But I'm sure similar experiences inspired many other hikers, climbers, mountain bikers and explorers who made year-end gifts to WTA. I'm thrilled to share that, thanks to these 372 people, WTA met (and beat!) our $22,500 end-of-year fundraising goal.

This was yet another bright spot in 2009. Topping WTA's list of successes? A record-smashing 94,000 hours of volunteer service on 130 trails statewide.

If you walk or ride on Grand Ridge this week, look for Mike and his crew. They're able to keep at it thanks to the financial support of our year-end donors, and each one of our 8,000 members.

On behalf of all of us at Washington Trails Association, our 2,000 volunteers and everyone who enjoys Washington's trails, thank you!

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