Canoeists to end journey tomorrow

Eleven local youth—as well as some other participants—are scheduled to arrive in Rainy River by canoe tomorrow afternoon, completing the second-annual fundraiser for the local United Native Friendship Centre’s youth centre.
The group includes youth workers Steve Parks, Len Bird, and R.J. Comeau, Stanjikoming Chief Edward Morrison, Bill Morrison, and local youths Trevor Mayer, Sheldon Legaree, BJ Wilson, Kris Starling, Sean Bragg, and John Grozelle.
Before they left from here Monday morning, it was estimated between $2,000-$2,500 in pledges had been collected so far. But organizers still are hoping to meet their goal of $5,000—to beat last year’s total of $4,000—and will accept more contributions to the cause.
Half of the funds raised will go towards the UNFC’s youth programming, like the L’il Eagles and Urban Multipurpose Aboriginal Youth Centre (UMAYC) activities, while the other half is earmarked for the OPP’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program.
About 10 family and friends saw the canoeists off at the boat launch by the water tower here just after sunrise Monday.
The group is expected to arrive in Rainy River sometime around noon tomorrow. They are being escorted by a Couchiching First Nation police marine unit the entire way.
Anyone wishing to contribute funds to the modern-day voyageurs can contact the UNFC youth centre at 274-0561.