Charity Kayak Challenge set for Aug. 25 at Skokie Lagoons

Staff Report

The Northwest Passage of Wilmette, Ill., is organizing a Charity Kayak Challenge for Sunday, Aug. 25, to benefit Big City Mountaineers and The Alliance for the Great Lakes.

The goal of the event is for participants to paddle a kayak until they raise either $500 (Silver Challenge), $1,000 (Gold Challenge) or $2,000 (Platinum Challenge).

The course is a roughly 1-mile loop around an island in the Skokie Lagoons.

How it works

Step 1 — Sign up for the Charity Kayak Challenge online at There is a non-refundable $50-per-team registration fee (two people per team). You and/or your partner agree to paddle the approximate 1-mile course around an island until your fund-raising goal has been reached. There is an official forced end at sunset to comply with forest preserve regulations.

Step 2 — Meet at the Skokie Lagoons at 9 a.m. (Gold and Platinum Challenge) or 10 a.m. (Silver Challenge) Aug. 25. You will be outfitted with your kayak, paddle, personal flotation device and a short review of paddling basics.

Step 3 — Start paddling! As a two-persom team, one of you will always be on the water while the other person will be on land. The person on land is responsible for reaching out to your collective contacts by cell phone (yours) with requests for donations. “John is kayaking around an island, and he has committed to not stopping until we raise $1,000 … can you help with a contribution?”

Every donation will make a difference to Big City Mountaineers and The Alliance for the Great Lakes, and every donation will help your team reach your goal. A limited number of double kayaks are available for three-person teams or two-person teams who want to make their fund-raising calls while they are on the water. These are first come, first served.

Each time you and/or your partner complete the 1-mile course, they will paddle past a check-in station for a snack, drink, update on fund-raising status and moral support from their teammate. Teammates can swap in and out of the kayak at any one of these check-ins. A number of volunteer staff will be placed throughout the course to assist paddlers, if necessary.

Team members on the land will be given a donation form to complete for every donation. Donations will be accepted by credit card or personal check (if received on the spot). All donations will go directly to the charity of choice, and tax-deductible receipts will come from the charities. While not making calls to friends, colleagues, family, etc., team members on land will be entertained with festivities and contests.

Limited space is available. Register online at, learn more at or call (847) 256-4409.

From the Aug. 21-27, 2013, issue

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