By Krista Gjestland
Published May 21, 2012, in The Manchester Enterprise
MANCHESTER, MICHIGAN—More than 100 Manchester-area residents headed out into the sunshine Sunday for the 46th annual Raisin River Canoe Race.
The event is sponsored by the Manchester Kiwanis Club, and is one of the organization's two major fundraisers.
Kiwanis member Cindy Kenney said the canoe race raises money that Kiwanis funnels back into the community through service projects.
"All of the money goes back into the community for projects," she said. "A lot of it goes into schools for things that they need that they can't normally get."
Not only does the event help raise money for community-service projects, but it's also become a tradition for the people of Manchester, Kenney said.
"This is our summer fundraiser and a big tradition that we want to carry on," she said. "It's just a community event. It's the start of the summer season."
The race has a lot of canoeists who participate every year as well.
"We have some people that keep repeating and they're very competitive," Kenney said. "Even though it's a just a little trophy, they're really into beating either their own best time or somebody else they compete with on a regular basis."
A lot of participants, Kenney said, are carrying on a tradition started by their parents.
"A lot of it is families," she said. "Like the kids of the parents who were in the race 20 years ago. I had a guy call me the other day that said he and his father were in the first race 47 years ago and wanted to know if they could come this year."
James Rauch and his son Zach were among the participants who were coming out to the canoe race for the first time despite going canoeing often.
"It's a fun thing to do," he said. "It's a challenge to get through all the obstacles and race next to people."
Events like the canoe race, Rauch said, is what makes living in the area fun.
"Manchester has an event almost every weekend," he said. "There's always something going on."
There are ten classes so that anyone with any skill level or age can participate.
This year's first place winners in each category were: Jack and Austin Rathburn in the corporate challenge class; Dave and Alaina Lukasik in the adult/child class; Carol Senn and Marty Catalano in women; Colleen Pierce in single women; Troy Albaugh in single man; Kevin an Philip Krzyzaniak in competition class; Ross and Case Kittel in the sprint class; Kurt and David Melville in the choose your partner class; Steve and Jessica Foley in the man/woman class and Matt Kemner and Ethan Segvin in the teen class.
Jul 02 2012, 10:35 AM