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Getting Gritty for a Cause


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It’s hard to believe it’s almost springtime in the New River Gorge. Spring brings summer and summer brings everyone’s favorite event, the Gritty Chix Mud Run! Do you like to challenge yourself while having fun? Then ACE Adventure is the place for you on June 24th. Let’s get muddy for a great cause and support Harmony for Hope of West Virginia!

Giving back to our community has always been a cornerstone of the Gritty Chix Mud Run. Southern West Virginia is full of amazing organizations who strive to provide opportunities for locals and continue to make our slice of wild and wonderful better every day. This year we are partnering with a group right in our own backyard. Please help us in welcoming Harmony for Hope of Mount Hope to the Gritty Chix family.

Harmony for Hope

Harmony for Hope of West Virginia, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that has been working since 2011 to unite West Virginia through music and art while preserving our area’s rich Appalachian heritage. The organization started as the Mount Hope alumni band, created to keep the Mustang culture alive after the high schools closed in 2012. In 2013, band member Carrie Kidd, offered a building to the group which led to the organization expanding it’s mission beyond music and into art.

One of the organization’s more notable projects was the creation of the Mt. Hope historic trail, established in 2018. The trail features artwork by local artists and sixteen points of architectural significance located within the town of Mt. Hope. Visitors to the trail are met by a vibrant mural of a phoenix above the New River Gorge. In 1910, Mt. Hope, located in the New River Coal Field, suffered a devastating fire. The hard-working townspeople rebuilt and earned the town the nickname, The Phoenix City.

Harmony’s Kids is another program started by Harmony for Hope that is picking up traction across the state. Beautification projects, youth choir and a traveling art exhibit are just some of the accomplishments of this program. While some of the state’s partnerships are thriving, the Mt. Hope faction has seen their fair of setbacks, from funding to participation, but they are determined to continue providing education and unification of music and art and Appalachian tradition.

How can you help?

As a Gritty Chick, we know your sense of community is as deep as some of the mud puddles you love taking on every summer! Besides your registration, there are opportunities year-round to help Harmony for Hope grow. Would you believe with all the information you just read, we have barely scratched the surface of all the amazing outreach programs Harmony for Hope has to offer?

Take a stroll on the Mt. Hope Historic Trail on the next sunny day. You may be surprised to learn what’s in your own backyard. Check out Harmony for Hope on Facebook for community band performances and kid’s programs. Maybe you’re not sure the mud run is for you, and you would like to check it out from the sidelines. We have lots of opportunities to volunteer on and off the course! Like the town, this group has faced setbacks, but with Gritty determination they have risen much like the Phoenix City to bring opportunities to our community.

Get Gritty with Harmony for Hope

Taking part in Gritty Chix Mud Run at ACE Adventure Resort this June 24th is a great way to support Harmony for Hope of West Virginia. What better way than to splash through some mud puddles and laugh with your besties, knowing your registration is going to a great cause. Help us give back to the local community and lets get muddy this summer in the New River Gorge!

Chris Colin author at aceraft.com
BY Chris Colin

Chris Colin is a raft guide, whitewater kayaker, active caver, and as Special Events Coordinator at ACE he manages, promotes, and executes special events like the Mountain Music Festival.