THE FRIENDS of the Shiawassee River (FOSR) have launched a fundraising raffle for a 13-foot, five-inch Hurricane Sojourn 135 kayak to informally kick off the paddling season. The kayak is from The Power of Water in Lansing and is valued at more than $1,400. Funds generated by the raffle will be used to host water quality monitoring stream teams, an annual river cleanup event, paddling events, and other FOSR efforts. Winners of the kayak and 2nd/3rd place prizes will be announced at the FOSR’s annual wine-tasting event on Wednesday, Sept. 20 at the Owosso Country Club.

     “The raffle is more than just a way for the FOSR to raise money,” said FOSR Kayak Raffle Co-Chair Matt Van Epps. “We hope to promote the whole idea of paddling the Shiawassee. It’s an incredible way to rediscover this river we love so much.”

     Raffle tickets may be purchased from any FOSR board member, and from Fifth Third Bank, Owosso; Gilbert’s Hardware and Appliance, Owosso; J & S Tire, Owosso; Matador’s Pizza, Byron; and Shiawassee Arts Center, Owosso.

     Along with the kayak raffle, the FOSR wants to remind everyone that the Shiawassee River was voted No. 7 on a list of the Top 11 Water Trails in Michigan. To highlight this acknowledgement, the group will also be hosting three separate paddling events this summer. The first such event will be from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 20. Paddlers will travel from Lytle Road Park to Corunna, with the FOSR’s fundraiser at Jumbo’s Burger Bar following, from 5 to 10 p.m.

     For more information on the kayak and upcoming FOSR paddling events, persons may visit

     Friends of the Shiawassee River members can be seen with the kayak to be raffled. From left to right are Gary Burk, FOSR Board of Directors; Matt Van Epps, FOSR Board of Directors and kayak raffle co-chair; Jennifer Van Nortwick, kayak raffle co-chair; Bob Dumond, FOSR volunteer responsible for selling the winning kayak raffle ticket two years running; and, in kayak, Joyce Haak, FOSR volunteer and paddling events chair.

(Courtesy Photo)

Friends of the Shiawassee River was last modified: May 15th, 2017 by Karen Elford