OARS and the Sacramento LGBT Community Center believe public lands should be safe and inclusive for everyone, which is why they have partnered for Pride Month. This June, guests are invited to “Take Pride Outside” and celebrate on California’s South Fork of the American River.
As part of this month-long initiative, on Saturday, June 12 for its first-ever Pride Day at OARS American River Outpost in Lotus, CA, OARS is extending a 25% discount to the LGBTQ+ community and its allies on any half-, 1-, or 2-day South Fork American River rafting trip. In addition, the company will donate $5 per person to the Sacramento LGBT Community Center for everyone who rafts the South Fork American River with OARS for its Pride Day event, or any Sunday-Friday for the entire month of June.
“Spending time outdoors can be life changing for many,” said Lanz Nalagan, annual and corporate giving director, Sacramento LGBT Community Center. “We are honored to partner with OARS to bring the value of nature to our LGBTQ+ community. We are looking forward to getting on the river together while supporting the Sacramento LGBT Community Center.”
“One thing we know for sure is that rivers connect us. We believe the only time anybody should feel like an ‘outsider’ is when they are literally outside climbing a mountain, splashing through rapids, or sleeping under the stars,” Steve Markle, VP of sales and marketing for OARS, said. “Representation matters. Language matters. Access matters. We have a lot of work to do, but OARS is committed to taking decisive steps toward being a stronger advocate for our LGBTQ+ friends and breaking down barriers to the outdoors.”
Recently, OARS formalized a change to their booking and registration process to provide guests with non-binary gender options and the company continues to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion training for staff and more intentional hiring from LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and marginalized communities. Markle said, “OARS is working to deepen their commitments across the company, nationally and locally, and teaming up with the Sacramento LGBT Center is a way to bring these actions home.” The Center’s mission is to create a region where LGBTQ+ people thrive and support the health and wellness of the most marginalized. In addition, it advocates for equality and justice and works to build a culturally rich LGBTQ+ community, end youth homelessness, and provide medical care and employment opportunities to transgender people.
“You save what you love, and you love what you know,” was an expression George Wendt, the founder of OARS, often said. Wendt started OARS more than 50 years ago with the goal of taking people of all walks of life on rivers. He knew that the more personal something was, the harder people would fight to protect it. OARS is proud to honor the LGBTQ+ community as members of the river family and greater outdoor community and is working hard to make rafting and the outdoors a more inclusive place.