We did it again! Bigger and better, and with some very good changes, but with the same goal, to increase awareness of Mesothelioma.
With the threat of thunderstorms in the forecast, over 70 kayakers gathered, including 3 meso survivors, at Admiral’s Marina for our 4th annual Kayaking 4 Meso event. This year’s event was shortened to 8 miles with only one launch site and a different terminus, but instead of traveling thru 2 locks we now paddled thru 3.
Everything fell into place. Kayakers were arriving, the shuttles busses were running and everybody was checking in and preparing to launch while the rain held off. The Arvin Hart Fire Dept. launched their air boat to escort us to lock 3.
We launched on time and the channel to lock 4 was cleared and boat traffic held up, just for us. The lock doors were open and the lock operator was waiting for us. We made it thru with ease and continued our paddle to lock 3.
Lock 3 was a different scenario. I had received a text earlier that morning that the lock 3 door would not open. I had faith that it would be fixed by the time we arrived. We did have a 15- 20 minute wait, but as I had hoped, the doors finally opened. On the other side was the NYS Police Marine Dive Unit waiting for us. They had already started to get kayaks out of the water and move them to the other side of the lock, but thank goodness they had got the doors working again. They were to escort us the rest of the way. The original plan was for them to escort us the entire way, but they were stuck on the other side. One additional escort boat was also waiting for us from the Hemstreet Park Fire Dept.
We stopped briefly at the Mechanicville Boat Dock for a photo op. We also had a drone in the air making a video of us paddling thru. From here we continued on our new route to the Halfmoon Lighthouse Park and made it thru lock 2 without a hitch. For the final leg of our paddle we were now joined by the Waterford-Halfmoon Fire Dept. with additional support in the water.
It turned out to be a beautiful day with no thunderstorms, no rain, and only a small breeze as we arrived at the Halfmoon Lighthouse Park. Arriving earlier than planned, we still had many well-wishers, family, friends, and 3 more Mesothelioma survivors waiting, one of them being my daughter Linda, who continues to be my inspiration.
The Waterford-Halfmoon Fire Dept. assisted us out of the water and had a wonderful lunch waiting for us and all their proceeds were donated to the Kayaking 4 Meso fundraiser.
Our goal, as always, was to raise awareness of mesothelioma in addition to raising funds for research. I very proud to announce we raised over $8,000.00 that goes directly to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.
We are planning to do it again in 2015 and we’d like to reach our goal of 200 kayakers in the water this time. We’ll need volunteers again next year and of course more kayakers. If you wish to get involved in a great cause and a fun event please contact me via email at markwells@Kayaking4Meso.org
See you on the water.
Many, many volunteers made the day of our event a huge success. Listed below are many we would like to say thank you to.
The Town of Halfmoon for hosting the event and providing 2 of the shuttle busses, and handling many other details.
Admiral’s Marina for allowing us to launch from their marina.
The New York State Police Marine-Dive Unit for escorting us on the river.
The Halfmoon-Waterford Fire Dept. for providing support on the water and the food tent.
The Hemstreet Park Fire Dept. for their support on the river.
The Arvin Hart Fire Dept. for their support on the river.
The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Dept. for their help in traffic control.
Fred the Butcher for providing the food for the food tent.
Folmsbee Transportation for providing their bus.
Upstate Kayak Rentals for all their help.
CGM Construction for allowing us to park in their field across from the park.
Froggy 100.3 for doing the live remote.
Mountainman Outdoor Supply for donating the kayak that we’re raffling off.
The Connors Agency for providing insurance coverage for the day.
The NYS Canal Corporation for their cooperation in locking us through all 3 locks.
Park Avenue Confectionary for making those yummy chocolate lollipops.
The GE Hudson River Dredging project for providing a clear channel to lock 4 and halting boat traffic for us.
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation for their support.