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Columbia Gorge Kiteboarding Association is reinstated

By ADAM LAPIERRE

News staff writer

June 21, 2006

When the Columbia Gorge Kiteboarding Association last met a few years ago, three people showed up to the meeting. The CGKA fizzled out since then and was little more than an association with a president and a bank account. That was, until last Friday night, when about 60 people crowded into Charburger for a CGKA revitalization meeting that would end with the official reinstatement of the association, the creation of a new mission statement and the election of a new Board of Directors.

The CGKA started in 2000, when kiteboarding access issues prompted a handful of local residents to band together to get access to the Spit. With a kiteboarding-specific location, low water levels and plenty of sandbar over the next several years, the CGKA didn’t have much to advocate. At the last meeting, Mike and Jen Fitzsimons and Jim Mason were the only three to show.

Since then, Mike Fitzsimons kept the CGKA’s legal business current, including its nonprofit organization status and its bank account, with a current balance of just over $350.

“The association is already set up and ready to go,” Fitzsimons said at the beginning of Friday’s meeting. “This can move forward today; all you have to do is get people involved and moving again.”

The meeting was crowded Friday with individuals who have a lot on their minds. From safety and access concerns and crowding at the sandbar to the bigger picture, long-term progression of kiteboarding in the Gorge, the meeting could have lasted through the weekend if everyone had the chance to voice their concerns.

But that was not the point of the meeting.

“We are here to see if people want to get the CGKA going again,” said meeting organizer Kristen Andrews. “And if so, we need to recruit the man/woman power to do it.”

The number of people in the room seemed to be the answer to whether or not the CGKA should be reinstated, so the meeting moved on to hearing from a handful of speakers, establishing a new mission statement and electing a new Board of Directors.

“I used to be able to kite everywhere around here until you guys showed up,” said Cory Roeseler, who is a founder of the sport. “Today it’s different, and I think speaking with one voice is for sure key.”

Pepi Gerald, president of the Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association, offered his advice and services as a liaison on behalf of the CGWA.

“I think the CGWA would see the CGKA as an ally,” Gerald said.

After some discussion, parameters of the CGKA’s new mission statement was created. The Columbia Gorge Kiteboarding Association’s main goals will be: To provide and maintain safe kiteboarding access, communicate with members of the community about safety and access issues and define and promote the economic viability of kiteboarding in the Gorge.

The meeting then went into nominations for the board of directors, which was voted as follows. Terms of the board will be for one year.

The new board:

Moderator — Mark Worth

Spokesperson — Cory Roeseler and Jim Grady

Secretary — Spring Milward and Mike Haasey

Treasurer — Shay Ohrel

Fund-raiser — Kristen Andrews

Webmaster — Mark Worth

Legal Council — Jim Mason

nominated; Fitzimmons as backup

Year-round board members at large — Eric Cohn, Tanya Farman, Laurent Picard, Kristen Andrews

What’s next:

The new board will meet on Monday to discuss more specific details of the CGKA. They will also decide the monthly meeting time and location, which will be announced in this section following the meeting. To get on the CGKA e-mail list, send an e-mail to Mark Worth at: mark@gorgekite.com

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