The World River Centre and International Whitewater Hall of Fame (IWHOF), the International Rafting Federation and Rivers and Forests Alliance (RAFA) have announced a campaign to further the work and passion of Rafael “Rafa” Gallo, IRF Honorary President, conservationist, and adventure tourism innovator, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer earlier this year. Our effort to pursue missions he created and for which he advocated kicks off with a GoFundMe campaign and will culminate at the ceremony to welcome 2021 awardees to the International Whitewater Hall of Fame on 30 September at The Paddle Sports Show in Lyon, France.
“Member of the IWHoF Class of ’09 and World River Centre Director, Rafael Gallo was a staunch supporter of all opportunities to leverage the worldwide network of whitewater rafting outfitters and competitors,” notes Risa Shimoda, World River Centre President. “As we continue to celebrate new honorees, we are in the early stage of developing a worldwide, open-source archive of all things whitewater that may include digitized images, competition results, stories of expeditions, and boat designs.”
“We are forever grateful to Rafa for his foresight as a co-founder of the IRF,” commented IRF Head of Media, Sean Clarke. “He hosted, promoted, and competed in countless international rafting events. His love for paddling was catalyzed in his early days as a raft guide on the Ocoee River, Tennessee (USA) and shared on all but one continent (Antarctica).”
“The newly-established Rivers and Forests Alliance (RAFA) was created by Rafael to ensure that his beloved Pacuare River in Costa Rica would be protected and preserved for all time,” notes Shannon Farley, who co-leads the organization with Roberto Gallo, Rafael’s son.
In celebration of a whitewater legend and to continue Rafa’s passion for sustainability projects, these three organizations are collaborating through GoFundMe. Proceeds will support RAFA’s conservation initiatives (60%), World River Center/ IWHoF (20%) and IRF sustainability projects (20%).