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2016 River Heroes Celebrated

Oct 11, 2016 | River Hero

For the first time, all the winners of the Ralph White River Hero Award were women. Below find only a portion of their accomplishments:

  • Molly Dellinger-Wray served on the board of Friends of the James River Park for 15 years – two terms as president, led a major community discussion on dogs in the park, launched the Friends’ Protection and Preservation Fund for JRPS, hosted innumerable FOJRP board retreats at her house, and continues volunteering in the park.
  • Tricia Pearsall is a board member of the James River Outdoor Coalition, a member of the James State Scenic River Advisory Committee and the T. Tyler Potterfield Damwalk Art Commission. She has led guided tours around the river for students, and is educating fisherfolk about littering.
  • Sally Wetzler, treasurer of the James River Outdoor Coalition, has long kept its hands-on projects within budget and on schedule. She works to secure accessibility to the James River for all, including the disabled, and, as a paraplegic who kayaks, she serves as a role model to disabled people pursuing adventure sports, doing so as a volunteer for Sportable.

The award ceremony took place on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 on the 15th floor of the Troutman Sanders Building, overlooking the James River. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and beverages were served.


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The Friends of the James River Park was established by a dedicated group of citizens in 1999 as an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization that works in partnership with the Park staff to promote, conserve and support the Park.