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Kayaking for kids
Paddlefest - Pam Pescevic.jpg
Paddlefest organizer Pam Pescevic is among the many kayakers taking off Saturday morning from Pepper Branch Park for the ninth annual event.

There were three Jackson Kayaks given away Saturday as part of Paddlefest festivities on the river.

Kayakers made their way from Pepper Branch Park to the former VFW during an hours-long float. They were greeted by drawings for fabulous prizes when they reached the finish.

The three happy kayak winners are Mike Stovall, Maggie Wilson and Lori Hollis. In addition, Chad Hale won a fishing package valued at $800.

Paddlefest is a fundraiser for Kids of the Community, which provides a wealth of activities for children, including Backyard Bible Classes during the summer. Kids of the Community is dedicated to providing positive adult role models for children to teach important life lessons.

Many of these role models took time to float the river on Saturday.

“I can’t say thank you enough to all the firefighters and members of the Sheriff’s Department who took part in Paddlefest,” said Pam Pescevic, one of the organizers. “They were awesome interacting with the kids and they also helped to keep a lookout and make sure everyone was safe. It was a fun day on the river.”

There were 54 kayakers who preregistered and several others who signed up on the day of the event, which is now in its ninth year. Several adults participated for the fun of spending time on the water.

“I’ve kayaked before but this is my first Paddlefest so I’m looking forward to it,” said Vickie Orr as she prepared to launch her kayak. 

Ryan J. Moore, set to take the bench as new General Sessions Judge on Sept. 1, brought his office staff with him to Paddlefest. Moore, Erica Olalde and Evelyn Cerda all floated the river together.

Elaine Lake had a four-legged friend as a companion as she brought along Scarlett the dog in her kayak.

Organizers say expenses are still being paid and they don’t yet have a ballpark figure about how much money was earned for Kids of the Community from the Paddlefest fundraiser.