Bike jump, raft race, ducks support CRBI

Article Published in Rome News Tribune 08/21/2011

Trey Smith is silhouetted against the sky during his jump Saturday night. (Contributed photo by Cooper Clotfelter)
Trey Smith is silhouetted against the sky during his jump Saturday night. (Contributed photo by Cooper Clotfelter)

Trey Smith lived.

The owner of Cycle Therapy made an Evel Knievel-style jump off a ramp — 44 feet into the river at Heritage Park — during the Coosa River Basin Initiative’s annual River Revelry fundraiser Saturday night.

“Everything until I hit the water felt awesome,” Smith said. “Then it felt like I landed in a parking lot.”

Patrons pledged $1 or more a foot toward Smith’s jump. It was unknown at 9 p.m. how much money had been raised by that stunt alone, but the organization was clearly having a good night.

“I’d say we have 300 to 400 people here, up from last year, but I won’t have exact numbers until later,” said CRBI Exec

utive Director Joe Cook. “I’d say we made well over $20,000.”

Among the other moneymakers for the nonprofit group were a silent auction, a live auction led by Len Dempsey of Dempsey Auction Co. and the Seven Hills Rotary Club’s Ducky Derby Drop.

Rotary president Alan Horne said the club raised $1,630 on the derby. The duck bought by Redmond Regional Medical Center CEO John Quinlivan won the race — and the $500 prize.

The derby was a hit with Charlie Smith of Carters­ville, a new CRBI member who said she was attracted by the kayaking opportunities.

“It was a tight pack, and then there were three that were beak-to-beak for a while until the winner pulled ahead,” she said.

Teams also competed in the Barbecue Battle — “there was a beef brisket to die for,” said Rome Mayor Evie McNiece, who was one of the judges — and the Blue Skye Outfitter Recycled Raft Race from Ridge Ferry Park.

Justin Norton and Sammy Rich, the assistant city manager, were talking up their pirate-flagged contraption’s “strong fifth-place finish” when the Paper Recovery of Georgia’s ship sailed in carrying eight people.

“Wow. That’s like the Titanic; it’s so big,” said Rich, with an admiring laugh.

Paper Recovery’s Shred Heads captained by Ben Levy won the Best Engineered title.

“It was hard work, but it was fun,” said rower Chris Dublin, who met co-worker Antoine Mouzon on shore to continue the revelry.

Other first-timers at the event included the Adams sisters Renaiyah, 10, and Renshunti, 7, who came with their parents, and Michelle Logan, who won her tickets but is a veteran CRBI river clean-up volunteer.

“The beer is good. The barbecue is good. The cause is good. It’s a great night,” Logan said.

CRBI members Sandra Lightfoot of Rome and Wayne Whitton of Canton had much the same thought.

Lightfoot said she enjoyed being outside on the riverbank, watching people have good fun and listening to good music “that’s not too loud.” Whitton said he was surprised but pleased at the large turnout.

“I’m for CRBI; they do a good job protecting the water,” he said. “CRBI looks out for us in Canton, too, you know. We share the Etowah River.”

The River Revelry Winners List:

Cycle Jump: Bob Moore of Bob’s Cycle Shop, who guessed Smith would go 50 feet.

Raft Race “Second Loser”: S.S. Rebel captained by Clint Patterson of Kingston

Raft Race Best Engineered: Shred Heads captained by Ben Levy

Best professional barbecue: Dub’s High on the Hog, Calhoun

Second place: Johnny Mitchell’s Smokehouse, Euharlee

Best backyard barbecue: Mark White’s Plum Peachy

Second place: Bad Dad’s Barbecue

Specialty item: Lavender Mountain’s Smokin’ Gun

People’s Choice: Mark White’s Plum Peachy.

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