Support from Grassroots Outdoor Alliance has helped Knoxville's Ijams Nature Center land a $100,000 donation for its adventure camp program for the Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley.


Ijams received a $100,000 contribution for the program from the West Knoxville Sertoma Club.  This gift along with additional funds and outdoor recreational equipment provided by Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, Pelican International, Horny Toad Activewear, and River Sports Outfitters will allow Ijams to host a new summer camp experience in 2014.
The new series of adventure camps will allow children ages 8-13 from the Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley to participate in week-long camps.  Each camp will include the environmental and natural education Ijams is known for along with outdoor recreational experiences like paddleboarding, kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking led by River Sports Outfitters instructors.
“This is one of the most exciting opportunities to come to Ijams in many years.  There will be no other camp like this in East Tennessee this summer, and we are thrilled to offer this experience in our community,” said Jennifer Roder, Education Program Officer at Ijams.
The West Knoxville Sertoma Club has been supportive of many organizations in the community, especially those that support youth development.  As a result of this gift, Ijams and our partners are able to offer this camp for two summers. 
“This is the largest single contribution we have made in our community,” said Gordon Thomas of the Sertoma Club. “We are extremely proud to join in the launch of what we perceive to be a lasting endeavor stimulating appreciation within our younger generation for our local environment.”
The initial funds to support the adventure camps came as a result of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance hosting their annual summit in Knoxville.  River Sports Outfitters, a member of the alliance, suggested Ijams as the recipient of their philanthropic support.  Pelican International, a world leader in the design and manufacture of kayaks, canoes and boats donated two paddleboards and 12 kayaks for use in the summer camps.
“Ijams is an exuberant celebration of the wilderness and a perfect blend of everything that Pelican and River Sports value,” said Kelley Woolsey, Director of USA Sales at Pelican. “This is truly a spectacular facility and our support and sponsorship benefits an organization that truly makes a difference and helps protect the wilderness that we all love.”