What started as a friendly bet between two friends to see if they could cross Long Island Sound in a kayak has transformed into one of the highlights of the summer in Norwalk. One hundred eight-seven kayakers paddled across the Sound to raise money for five different charities for the 10th annual Kayak for a Cause.
"The people that run this event are so passionate about it and the people who participate in it are so passionate," volunteer coordinator Amy Rule said. "[Word] got out there like a virus. People went, 'wait a minute, that looked really cool.'"
Kayakers are required to raise a minimum of $1,000 to participate in the 13-mile paddle that begins in Northport, N.Y. The Cause got donations from more than 500 people who did not kayak and over 200 people volunteered to help the event go off smoothly. All the money raised goes evenly to Save the Sound, Builders Beyond Borders, Canine Companions, Outward Bound, and the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk.
Kayakers and everyone who helped out were handsomely rewarded for the day's efforts, being met on the shores of Calf Pasture beach with the support of friends and family, games and prizes, and a steak and lobster dinner. Perhaps the highlight of the long day, however, was how it endeda rip-roaring concert from rock and roll hall of famer and Allman Brothers guitarist, Dickie Betts. Blasting hits like "One Way Out," "Jessica," and "Ramblin' Man," Calf Pasture Beach became one big party that is sure to draw even more interest next year.
"Over the years we've had a tremendous repeat rate," Rule said. "We've got people who have been doing this for eight years and a lot of people who have been doing it for four or five. So it all becomes this big group effort. It's awesome."
Video shot and edited by Chris Palermo.
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