Yagatta Regatta fulfills expectations | PostIndependent.com

Yagatta Regatta fulfills expectations

Dale ShrullGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. This year’s Yagatta Regatta was quite an operation.What started with fun in the water turned to a splash of patriotic flair in the skies above Two Rivers Park around 7 p.m.As Pine Pienaar from Adventure Paragliding floated to the Earth with Old Glory waving, a raucous crowd cheered. It was the perfect theme for an event that is now the main fundraiser for Operation Vacation.”I’m extremely satisfied,” Operation Vacation founder and Yagatta Regatta organizer Bob Johnson said about the event. “It really went very well.”Operation Vacation was started in August 2005 to bring soldiers and their families to Glenwood Springs for a weekend of relaxation.Just like Operation Vacation, Saturday’s event was greatly helped by sponsorships and donations from many people and businesses.Johnson hoped to match the $10,000 Yagatta Regatta raised last year for Cooper Corner Adult Day Center.He said now that the event raises money for Operation Vacation, they should have a solid yearly fundraiser.”We’re really set for the year,” Johnson said about the money raised on Saturday. “We struggling with finances so this is going to really help.”Saturday started with raft and kayak trips on the Colorado River and ended at Two Rivers Park with music, food and liquid refreshments.Pienaar, who’s from South Africa, admitted that he felt a little pressure having the American flag on board.”I’ve never flown with the flag before so I was a little nervous,” he said with a grin.Craig Tharp of New Castle, who is serving in the Army and has been deployed to Iraq, was recognized on stage during the festival. His brother Trent Tharp is also serving in the military.Johnson said Operation Vacation is getting ready to expand to other communities. July 3-5 is the kickoff for Grand County, and Austin, Texas, is next after that, Johnson added.Besides the Yagatta Regatta, Operation Vacation’s other fundraiser is Dog Days, a canine gathering, which will be held in September.Johnson credited a dedicated volunteer staff for helping Saturday’s event go smoothly.

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