It was just over a year ago that Greg Hawkins, never a smoker, found out he had lung cancer. This past summer he passed away. Hawkins was the former head of VCU’s Outdoor Adventure Program. He had just moved out to Boise, Idaho to take the same job at Boise State when he found out he had cancer. I featured Greg and the efforts by members of the local paddling community to raise money for his medical bills in a T-D column last December. Now those efforts have transitioned from raising money for Greg to raising money in his honor.
If you’ve spent much time in the James River Park System, you know there are precious few water fountains. So, money raised in Greg’s honor will go toward putting in a human/dog water fountain at the Reedy Creek entrance to the park.
“There’s not a whole lot of areas where there’s water. And it’s a place where a lot of people come in,” said Chris Hull, president of the James River Outdoor Coalition and friend of Hawkins’. “The easiest place to put it is going to be in the parking lot. You can pull off the main line next to the street.”
Hull said they’ve had the project blessed by JRPS manager Nathan Burrell. Now it’s just a matter of raising what he thinks will be about $10,000 needed to run a new water line and buy the fountain and a plaque. There’s a Razoo.com page where folks can donate to the effort, and on December 7th the second annual James River Run 5K will go off from the park headquarters area. All the money from that race will go toward the Hawkins Memorial Fountain.
The goal is to have the fountain installed by the end of the year.
“This really celebrates Greg Hawkins many contributions to the park,” Hull said. “He was always doing something in the park.”