Volunteers sought for AuSable Marathon Pledge Relay fundraiser
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The AuSable River Canoe Marathon Committee is looking for volunteers for a paddling fundraiser, and it is seeking donated items for a garage sale event that will help raise money for a new series of college scholarships.
The Pledge Relay, an AuSable Marathon event that raises money for the “general operating budget” of the race, according to event organizers, is slated for Saturday, May 20. The event will begin at 9 a.m. at Penrod’s.
The committee is currently signing up volunteers for the Pledge Relay. Participants are asked to secure $50 or more in pledges and donations before paddling one of four sections of river from Grayling to McMasters Bridge, the length of the Pledge Relay course. The four sections are: Grayling to Burton’s Landing, Burton’s to Stephan Bridge, Stephan to Wakeley Bridge, and Wakeley to McMasters. There is a prize – a $40 gift certificate to the new restaurant by the Old AuSable Fly Shop – for the participant who raises the most money.
Participants can paddle in a recreational canoe or in a kayak. The Pledge Relay will provide the canoes and the kayaks and the paddles. Pledge Relay paddlers “who register by May 10 will receive a free T-shirt,” according to event organizers.
Registration forms for the event are available at John Cherven’s office in the Grayling Mini Mall.
The Marathon Committee is adding a new piece to the Pledge Relay called “Catch Us If You Can.” Four veteran AuSable Marathon paddlers will participate. Two will paddle in an aluminum canoe from Wakeley Bridge to McMasters while the other two paddle in a racing canoe from Stephan Bridge in an attempt to reach McMasters before the duo in the aluminum canoe. According to promotional material for the Pledge Relay, Jeff Kolka and Bill Torongo will be in the aluminum canoe and Sean Casey and Colin Hunter will be in the racing canoe.
“A start time interval will be determined by means of several practice runs in an aluminum canoe leading up to the event. It is assumed the aluminum canoe will have the advantage in a race of this short distance, so a time handicap will be applied to ensure as close a finish as possible,” event organizers said.
The AuSable River Canoe Marathon Committee has a couple of other fundraisers planned for this year, including one that will help create a new series of college scholarships. The committee plans to award three scholarships starting this year: one to a Grayling High School senior, one to an Oscoda High School senior, and one to a child or grandchild of an AuSable Marathon paddler.
“The (Marathon) Committee will solicit nondeductible donations and conduct various fundraisers to enable the awarding of three scholarships. The three awards will be equal in amount. The amount granted will depend on the success of the committee’s fundraising efforts but will be no less than $250 each. These scholarships will be based on a combination of academic performance and community service,” according to Marathon officials.
One of the fundraisers for the scholarship will be the upcoming Indoor Garage Sale, slated for Saturday, May 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Grayling Mini Mall.
The Marathon Committee is looking for community support for the sale in the form of donated items, reserving a table (at a cost of $15) to sell items at the event, providing items for the committee to sell on consignment (80 percent to seller, 20 percent to the fundraiser effort), or volunteering time to help with the event.
For more information on the Indoor Garage Sale, contact John Cherven of the AuSable River Canoe Marathon Committee at 348-2554.
The committee also has a pop can drive fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, July 15, at the Grayling Family Fare. All of the money from the donated cans and bottles will go to the scholarship fund, Cherven said.