NEGAUNEE - The Negaunee Lions Club hopes that canoers, kayakers and paddleboarders alike will be hitting the water on Saturday July 5 for its inaugural Teal Lake Paddle race fundraiser.
The event will have a 1.5-mile and 3-mile races for each of the three watercraft and will conclude the day with a treasure hunt along Teal Lake's north shore.
"It's a great way to cap off the 4th of July weekend, and Teal Lake is among the most beautiful inland lakes in the Upper Peninsula, if not the most beautiful," said Gary Rasmussen, president of the Lions Club. "And it'll be a family-friendly atmosphere and environment and it will also contribute to a wonderful cause. The Negaunee Lions generate close to $10,000 a year that goes into youth activities and other charities and this would go a long way to helping out some worthy causes."
The 1.5-mile race begins at 10 a.m., the 3-mile at 11, with the treasure hunt to follow at noon. The cost to register is $35 for any one race, or $45 for people of stamina and adventurous spirit who'd like to do all three. All of the proceeds from the event go toward the club's many philanthropic endeavors.
Rasmussen said the idea for the races was conceived by Kathy Lenten, wife of one of the Lions.
"We had been looking for a new fundraiser for a couple of years now and ... we thought it would be a good way to generate some revenue, but we also felt that one of the strong points was utilizing Teal Lake," he said. "Teal Lake is a treasure to Negaunee and it is really underutilized, in our opinions."
To register for or help sponsor the event, or for more information about the race course and rules, go to www.negauneelions.com/teal-lake-paddle. Prospective participants can also sign up the morning of the race, beginning at 8 a.m. at Lakeview Elementary School.
The event is open to all ages and, in addition to a set of rules listed on its website, volunteers and others will be on hand to ensure participants safety.
"Everybody will have to follow all of the safety guidelines, such as life preservers are mandatory - no exceptions," Rasmussen said. "So we feel comfortable that anybody who wants to participate will be safe and sound and welcome."
Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.