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The 4th annual Women’s Green River Takeover event took place this past Saturday in Saluda, North Carolina. This amazing event, planned and coordinated by Laura Farrell is always awesome and I’m thankful to be a part of it. This event was started 4 years ago in loving memory of the late Shannon Christy, with the intent to bring women paddlers together.  The event is not only a great chance to kayak with an entire river full of women, it is also a fundraiser for the Shannon Christy Memorial Fund. This fund was started in memory of Shannon Christy and the proceeds are all donated to organizations and grants that empower and support women. 

This year was yet another success. We had a total of 87 women paddle the Upper Green together, with an astounding 43 of them continuing down the Green Narrows. That’s a lot of ladies! The point of the day is not to exclude the men, rather to gather together and empower women in this male dominated sport. Year after year I see many of the same faces returning and also many new faces. One of the greatest successes is seeing paddlers who met at the Takeover the year before, and have now become great paddling friends. 

Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet Shannon Christy. Even though she is sorely missed, her close friends are never able to remember her without a smile. She is remembered as the person who would light up the room and make the most of every situation. I’m sure given the opportunity we would have been great friends. Every year by helping with this event, I feel like I am part of something bigger. This year, we raised over $3,000 for the Shannon Christy Memorial Fund at this event alone. In combination with this event, and several other events through the summer hosted by Anna Levesque, the money is being donated to the Human Trafficking Initiative, and to the American Canoe Association for helping female US Whitewater slalom athletes, and breaking the gender disparity in their funding. The plan is for every year to donate to some place different. Even if you missed the event, if you would like to help by donating, please visit

Hope to see even more wonderful ladies out next year!

~Diane Brasuell (Gaydos)