Fundraiser based on decorated canoe paddles

April 8, 2019

Fort Wayne’s Friends of the Rivers hopes to propel the organization forward this summer with a fundraiser based around artistically decorated canoe paddles.

The group announced today that it’s soliciting artists and sponsors for Paddles Aweigh, an event that will fund additional tours of Fort Wayne’s rivers for schoolchildren aboard the Sweet Breeze, the Friends’ restored canal boat.

The group plans to raise 1,000 donation from area businesses and other groups, said Irene Walters, former Friends president and project chairwoman.

For an idea of what the fundraiser will be like, recall the  mastodons from a 2004 project marking the 40th anniversary of the former IPFW : on smaller scale and a lot easier to move and display, organizers said at a news conference.

Walters, then IPFW public relations director, also had a big role in that project.

Walters said the paddles will be unveiled all at once at Promenade Park along the riverfront during an event marking World Rivers Day Sept. 29.

From October 1 through December, the paddles will be on view “in public areas all throughout Fort Wayne,” she said.