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Big Cedar Paddlers “Fill the Canoe” for area food banks

Fill the Canoe, was held on Saturday, August 9, a gloriously sunny day for this third social event of the Big Cedar Lake Stewardship Association (BCLSA).

A rally of a different stripe, it is non-competitive and allows paddlers of all ages to participate by paddling their canoes, kayaks, paddleboards or even paddleboats to six designated check-points on Big Cedar Lake. Each checkpoint visited earned the participant a draw ticket which was used later in the day at the BBQ social.

“Certainly, the event is an opportunity for lake residents and cottagers to get to know one another better, but its greater focus is on giving back to the surrounding community,” says Chris Liedtke, of the BCLSA Social Committee.

“One very obvious way to do that is to encourage donations to area Food Banks.

Our goal was to ‘fill the canoe’ with items needed by the North Kawartha and Lakefield Food Banks, and Big Cedar cottagers rose to the challenge.”

And, because participants could earn additional draw prize tickets by donating, over 110 BCLSA members and guests amply filled the canoe with 392 items, as well as monetary donations.

Pat Quast, Chair of the North Kawartha Food Bank, encourages summer residents to think of the Food Bank when they clear their cottage shelves in preparation for the winter. In fact, her email to the BCLSA inspired Paddlefest organizers to link their event to the Food Banks.

Sandy Peacock and Janelle Surge, Co-Chairs of the Lakefield Food Bank which is housed in St. John the Baptist Anglican Church, also gladly accept donations; with over 200 households registered, their shelves also need constant replenishment.

Paddlefest organizers Chris Liedtke and Dave Madden are extremely grateful to the many businesses (from Lakefield, Big Cedar, Woodview, Haultain, and Apsley) as well as individuals who donated draw prizes for the event.

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