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Fundraiser offers chance to kayak
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Kayaking is becoming popular for all ages. Warren County provides a great natural backdrop for kayaking with the Collins and Barren Fork rivers running through the area.
Kids of the Community is hoping the popularity of kayaking will encourage people to take part in the first Paddlefest to be held June 29.
“Kayaking has become a good, cheap form of entertainment. It is free to take a kayak on the river,” said Kids of the Community president Ricky Hodge.
Kids of the Community coordinator Heather Luttrell said, “This is the third summer Kids of the Community has been able to take our members kayaking and we now have plenty of our own kayaks. Naturally, we want to conduct a fundraiser that involves this great activity, so June 29 will be the first Paddlefest.”
Paddlefest will consist of two parts, a race and a float. Kayakers entering the race will receive unique trophies for their hard work.
Hodge said winners will receive kayak paddles that have been made into trophies.
“I kept thinking about how people throw away trophies after so many years of them sitting around. I thought a trophy made from a kayaking paddle would be different. They can hang them on the wall underneath a picture if they want to,” said Hodge.
There will be four categories of competition, over age 18 male and female, and under 18 male and female. People who do not want to race but would like to float the river for fun may sign-up for the Paddlefest float.
“Many 5Ks have a 1K fun walk for those people who do not want to race. The float portion of Paddlefest is our 1K fun walk,” said Hodge.
Hodge estimates it will take four hours to float the river from the entrance at Pepper Branch Park to the exit point at the VFW.
Kids of the Community will have a limited number of kayaks available to rent for $25.
People interested in registering for the race or the float may register online at www.kidsofthecommunity.com. Registration forms may also be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce, McMinnville Civic Center or FFNB Bank located inside Walmart.
People registering before June 20 will receive a T-shirt. People may also register on the morning of the race, but a T-shirt cannot be guaranteed.
The pre-registration fee for the race is $20 by June 20. After June 20, the fee will be $25.
The fee to float the river during Paddlefest is $15 before June 20. The fee to float will be $20 after June 20. People wishing to float the river in canoes may enter as well. Only kayaks, however, will be permitted to race.
Check-in will begin at 7 a.m. The race will begin at 9 a.m. The float will start at 9:30 a.m.
“We are hoping for a great event,” said Hodge. “Next year, we hope to make it even bigger and more spectacular. All money raised will go back to Kids of the Community. If anyone wants to help sponsor the race, please let us know. We are looking for sponsors to help with the costs of the race. For instance, we will be timing the race electronically and the cheapest cost I have found to do that is $1,000.”
A concession stand will be set up at the end of the race in the VFW parking lot. Door prize drawings will be held at that location.
For more information, contact Hodge at 931-619-1018.