Trailblazer SPOTLIGHT: Nathan Cooper
Hometown: Norfolk, VA
Trailblazer Project: Bar Mitzvah Fundraiser for the ERT
Project timeframe: July to mid-November 2022
Amount raised: $1,800 (and counting)
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your connection to the elizabeth river trail:
I’m 12 years old and one of my favorite hobbies is to ride my bike and my favorite place to do it is on the ERT.
why did you choose the ert for your service project/fundraiser?
I am proud to be from Norfolk because it’s a cool city and a nice place to live. I chose the ERT as my bar mitzvah project because I wanted to support something in my hometown that is good for everyone.
Can you share a story of some of the coolest/wackiest challenges you’ve created to bring awareness to the trail and your fundraiser?
I created a set of donation incentives for things I’d do for various amounts. Probably the most creative so far is when my aunt pledged enough for me to do a “donor’s choice” and I had to learn how to play Hot Cross Buns on the recorder – with my nose – and post it on Facebook. It worked though! We raised a lot of money that day.
What’s your favorite trail moment?
I was proud when I was able to bike to the end of the trail at Norfolk State University. I also like to stop at the Pagoda to feed the koi (they have a food feeder machine for 25 cents!). One time we biked to the Norfolk Tides game, parked our bikes outside, and got to go to a game – with no traffic!
Favorite Trailgrazing spot? (i.e. best local food spot steps from the trail)
When I was little, my mom motivated me to bike by saying if I got to The Virginia Cheese Shop in Freemason we could get a snack. It worked! It’s still my favorite trailgrazing spot on the ERT.
Best view of the Elizabeth River from the trail?
It’s a tie between biking along the brick path at Towne Point Park and from the top of the Berkley Bridge.
Select the “For Nathan Cooper” campaign to support his fundraiser.