Ark Aces women’s rafting

Ark Aces women’s rafting raised more than $2,000 at a fundraiser Friday for its trip to China to compete in the International Rafting Federation’s World Rafting Championships. From left are Shelly Carlos, Samantha Bahn, Chris Smejkal, Samantha Barron, Dominique Naccarato and Cari Beasley.

Ark Aces women’s rafting is $2,000 closer to its $30,000 goal, thanks to its For the Love of Rafting fundraiser on Valentine’s Day at Soulcraft Brewing, team captain Samantha Barron said.

Money raised helps the U19, U23 and master’s rafting teams make the trip to the WuPai River in Ziyuan, China, in August for the International Rafting Federation’s World Rafting Championships. Cost to send each team is estimated at $10,000.

Barron said they were humbled by how many people came out to support them.

“We wouldn’t be able to compete without fundraisers like this, honestly, because it’s a very expensive sport,” Barron said. “We all put in so much time and so much money.”

She said besides the fundraiser the team has raised $3,000 so far, although she is not entirely sure because they have bought merchandise to sell that would further expand their funding.

Local “groove band” Roundhouse Assembly played from 7 to 9 p.m. with Salida Starlettes dancers performing during the band’s intermission.

Those who could not make the fundraiser can purchase hats and stickers from the team, attend their film festival March 6 at A Church, 419 D St., donate at their website and follow them on Facebook or Instagram. They also will have a boat exchange sponsored by Riverboat Works in April.

Those interested in sponsoring the team can email

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