2015 Gala: Celebrate Our 15th Year of Success!




at the Potomac Boat Club of Washington, DC

Congratulations to our 2015 Protectors of the Potomac David Buente and Jim Wedeking, and Volunteer of the Year Whit Overstreet Award Winners.

Read About Our Award Winners


David Buente, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP

Buente, co-leader of Sidley’s Environmental group, represents clients in complex environmental litigation and rulemaking matters, with an emphasis on Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act, CERCLA (Superfund) and RCRA, environmental criminal and toxic tort matters. Building upon his 15 years as an environmental prosecutor, including at the Department of Justice (DOJ), corporations—including American Electric Power, Cinergy, Duke Energy, Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Georgia Pacific, Ford Motors, Honeywell, Tyson Foods and Verizon —turn to David for representation in complex federal environmental enforcement matters with DOJ and EPA. He also advises trade associations on diverse legislative, regulatory and litigation environmental issues.

Jim Wedeking, Staff Attorney, Sidley Austin LLP

Wedeking is an environmental litigator, representing large companies and industry trade associations in trial and appellate courts, as well as before administrative agencies. His experience includes the defense of criminal and civil enforcement actions, toxic tort defense, permit appeals, rulemaking challenges, and complex civil litigation. A key aspect of Mr.Wedeking’s practice includes developing an involved understanding of how a client’s facilities function, given the complex scientific and technical issues that are typically the subject of litigation. These clients have included large companies in the oil and gas, electric power, chemical manufacturing, mining, and agricultural industries.



Whit Overstreet

We are delighted to present Whit Overstreet, former PRKN Programs Manager, with our Volunteer of the Year Award. Whit began working for PRK in August 2010, humbly beginning at the organization as the admin assistant. Within his first two weeks on the job, he began giving public presentations and from there his interest in all aspects of the organization’s mission and work quickly expanded. During his tenure, Whit assisted the organization in many capacities – he began handling communications and outreach which complimented his ever-growing knowledge of the river. He got to know almost every marina operator, livery, outfitter, any everyone else in between up and down the river. He led cleanups, gave public presentations, served as informal fleet captain of PRKN’s patrol boats, among other roles. Accompanied by Sycamore Island Caretaker Joe Hage, Whit led two trips down the tidal demonstrating the viability and potential of a paddling trail in the backyard of our nation’s capital. We were saddened when Whit decided to leave PRKN in December 2014 – however, we couldn’t blame him – he took over as the operations manager of 3 boathouses on the river, most notably the historic Key Bridge Boathouse. However, we were a bit cross with Whit when he left the watershed to move onto his houseboat on the Anacostia River. Even though he’s no longer a paid staff member, Whit has continued to support and assist PRKN during recent transitions.

Check out our featured live auction items!

Donor: Dean Naujoks, Potomac Riverkeeper

Value: Priceless

Have you ever seen Washington DC and the monuments from the Potomac River? It is an amazing sight! Take a sunset cruise for up to four on the Potomac River with Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks on the official Riverkeeper Boat (a 26-foot Parker). You will enjoy breathtaking views of Memorial Bridge, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the Kennedy Center. Enjoy a stop at the Georgetown waterfront and the unbelievable seclusion the river offers just upstream from Georgetown where the river turns wild and scenic. You will gain a newfound appreciation for the Potomac and our Nation’s Capital just by experiencing it from the water! Schedule your tour before a Nat’s game and Dean will deliver you to Nat’s Stadium (Yards Park) by way of our sister river, the Anacostia. Valid through May 30, 2016.


Donor: Catherine Sulivan

Value: $1,100

Enjoy a week of mountain air and starry nights while staying at a lovely one-bedroom condo in Sun Valley, Idaho. Although it is famous for its alpine skiing, Sun Valley offers a wide range of activities including hiking, whitewater rafting, golf, fishing and hot springs. Soak in the arts and culture scene by seeing a live performance, visiting museums and galleries, or strolling through the Sawtooth Botanical Garden. Package includes a champagne brunch for two at local restaurant, Christina’s. Valid through May 30, 2016.


Donor: Brent Walls, Upper Potomac Riverkeeper

Value : Priceless

With over 8,000 miles of rivers and streams, the Upper Potomac has many great canoe trips to offer. Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, Brent Walls, will take you and a guest on a river adventure of your choosing. Whether you are an experienced whitewater paddler or an easygoing sightseer, the Upper Potomac has it all and Brent will match your desires with the right location. Spend a day floating the majestic “Trough” on the South Branch Potomac spotting bald eagles; take a water tour through the historic Antietam Creek Battle Field; experience the great trout fishing opportunities on the recovering North Branch or adventure down a stream less traveled – Brent will be your guide and cook. That’s right… cook. This trip includes an on-the-water meat or vegetarian cookout. Valid through May 30, 2016.


Donor: Leslie Ruppert and Bill Johnstons

Value: $1,000

Enjoy a long weekend or a week in spectacular seclusion. Surrounded by 250 acres of fields and forests, and bordered by a mile of Shenandoah River frontage, this glass and timber contemporary sleeps 8-10 in four bedrooms. Facing west across the river (perfect for sunsets on the deck), the property backs directly to the George Washington National Forest on the western slope of Massanuten Mountain.

Fish or float the river in kayaks or canoes. Explore the Civil War-era log barn. Take a hike to the top of the mountain along the well-marked Blue Trail. Visit local wineries or Woodstock’s coffee shops and restaurants. Or simply relax and watch the cows graze from the many decks and patios outside each room. With a fully-equipped kitchen, cell phone service and a dining table for 12, this getaway is ideal in any season—for a family vacation, a reunion with friends or just a romantic weekend for two. Arrange a mutually agreeable time with owners. Valid through May 30, 2016.


Donor: Mark Frondorf, Shenandoah Riverkeeper

Value: Priceless

Many moons ago, when our new Shenandoah Riverkeeper, Mark Frondorf, first moved to the DC area to attend grad school, he discovered that he had a free weekend before classes commenced. Although he had never laid eyes on the Shenandoah, the siren call was too great and he packed his camping gear and fishing rods and headed off to see for himself. It was love at first sight. Since then, Mark has guided on the Shenandoah and Potomac for twenty years, never ceasing to be amazed by their beauty and serenity. You and your guest will join Mark for a remarkable half-day Shenandoah River adventure of your choice. Try your luck casting for the gamest fish that swims – the smallmouth bass. Or roar through Bull Falls, shoot down the Staircase Rapids and explore the history of Harpers Ferry and Virginius Island while comfortably ensconced in the Riverkeeper’s raft. Or if you can wait until autumn, marvel at the fall foliage bursting with color and the whole river practically to yourself! To top it off, Mark will prepare a scrumptious shore lunch no matter what stretch you decide to run.


Donor: Mac Thornton, Board Member

Value: $2,000

Enjoy a weeklong stay in a private four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath, luxury log cabin in the heart of West Virginia’s Canaan Valley. This beautiful cabin offers easy access to nearby Dolly Sods Wilderness and Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge as well as two Alpine ski resorts. Take a week to explore these pristine wilderness areas, described by some ecologists as “a bit of Canada gone astray”, and make sure to get out on the water for some unforgettable fishing (trout, bass). The cabin is outfitted with a soaring great room with hand-crafted great chimney, custom gourmet kitchen with premium appliances and fixtures, and log-walled master bedroom with master bath and Jacuzzi. Oriented west, the cabin lets you enjoy spectacular sunsets every evening during your stay. Available Friday-to-Friday, subject to current availability, anytime up to Dec. 18, 2015.


Donor: Jeff Kelble, President

Value: Priceless

Let the retired Riverkeeper, now President Jeff Kelble, take you and a guest on a magical and informative half-day adventure on the Potomac or Shenandoah River. Before he became the Shenandoah Riverkeeper, Jeff was one of the most sought-after smallmouth fishing guides in the Mid-Atlantic. Jeff has deepened his commitment to conservation of our river’s resources by taking on new responsibilities and tells us he is desperate to get out on the water!! Call upon any or all of Jeff’s prodigious skills and abilities– make it a serious fishing trip, just enjoy a relaxing float, or even help Jeff patrol for pollution – Jeff is there to be your guide, boat steerer, anchorman, oarsman, teacher, and Riverkeeper as you play on the Potomac or Shenandoah, your choice of rivers. Valid through May 30, 2016.


Donor: Avis Moore, Past Board Member; Southwest Airlines

Value: $2,100

Spend a fun-filled week in New Orleans in the beautiful home of PRKN’s former Board Member, Avis Ogilvy Moore. Built in 1871 in a quiet neighborhood just a few miles from the heart of the French Quarter, the house is furnished with family heirlooms and offers convenient access to memorable sightseeing, a lively music scene, eccentric street performances, and infinite opportunities to taste the famous Creole and Cajun cuisines. Accommodations include one bedroom with queen bed and private bath, and a living- room sofa bed, with half bath. Package includes round trip tickets for two on Southwest Airlines! Stay must be scheduled in advance with housekeeper on a mutually convenient date between July 1 and December 31, 2015.


Thank you to our sponsors!

Questions? Please contact Sarah Sorenson at sarah(at)prknetwork.org or 202.429.3947