By Grace Oborne
Canning Lake is the place to be this Saturday. Whether you canoe, kayak or paddleboard, grab your paddles because Kayak Canning for a Cause is back for another year.
The Canning Lake Property Owners Association is welcoming residents of Minden to join Canning Lake for their annual event on July 23.
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. on co-organizer, Bill Lithgow’s waterfront, which is located on the south shore. The registration fee is a $20 donation in support of the Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation.
“To raise money for the hospital is a great cause. Hospitals always need lots of extra funding as everybody is stretched, and the hospital and health care services in the area are very important to all of us,” said co-organizer, Helen Bacik.
Paddling will start at 10 a.m. and will end at noon on Bacik’s dock, located on the north-west shore, across from Battle Island.
The first Kayak Canning took place in 2013 when the lake association noticed that kayaking was becoming a more popular activity on the lake. Due to COVID-19, this will be the first paddling event back since 2019.
With the virus still a concern, members of lake association decided against having a lunch at the end of the paddle excursion. The event’s lunch was favoured by all participants.
“This year, we’re really anxious to have the event again, because it’s a great social event for a great cause. But we at the time of planning, we were unsure where the pandemic would be and what the rules would be. We decided to run the event, because distancing in kayaks is quite simple, but to not host the lunch at the end of the event, because people would be in close quarters,” said Bacik.
“There has always been a lunch every year, so this will be the first time running the event without a lunch. We certainly hope to get it back for next year.”
Residents of Canning Lake look forward to Kayak Canning and enjoy the morning spent on the lake with neighbors and loved ones.
“I kayak with a lot of other women on the lake weekly but the best part about this is that we get to meet up [with] different people that we haven’t seen for a while. I get to meet new people as well and it’s just a good time for everybody to come out and get some exercise,” said Canning Lake resident, Cindy Platz.
“My husband, Kurt, from the beginning, has run the safety boat which follows along in case anybody runs into any trouble. He usually has water in case anybody didn’t bring any with them. He’s just there to make sure everybody is safe.”
For permanent residents such as the Platz, the hospitals and health services in the county are important to them.
Lisa Tompkins, the executive director for HHHS, extends her gratitude and excitement for Kayak Canning.
“We’ve had many reasons to be very grateful to many residents of Canning Lake and summer cottagers for their generosity over the years. I know that this event has taken place in the past and we’re delighted to hear that they’re able to do it again this year. I wish them a great and safe day on the water with lots of sunshine,” Tompkins said.
Kayak Canning’s rain date is on Sunday, July 24.
Members of the association and residents of Canning Lake encourage first-time participants.
“I am very excited to be back and spend time together. I hope many of the members on the lake feel the same way. I look forward to seeing new faces as we’re hoping to have a great turnout. Everybody’s just ready to get back to the fun we used to have,” Bacik said.
For more information, visit www.canninglake.ca, click on “Say Hi,” and then click on “General Enquiries” to leave a message for the event organizers.