Annual cardboard boat race raises money for Alzheimer's

By Chad Weber

September 3, 2013 Updated Sep 3, 2013 at 10:20 AM CDT

PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. -- Labor day weekend marks the beginning of the end of boating season for many boat clubs in the area.

However, before that can happen, an annual tradition in Peoria Heights involving cardboard and plenty of duct tape must take place.

"Kind of our farewell for summer and for the harbor," said Ivy Club Rear Commodore Tim Ward.

"Yep, let's go out with a bang," said Michelle Becker who was representing "Those Guys Boat Club".

In what has become an annual tradition, men and woman hit the Illinois River with nothing more than duct tape and cardboard beneath their feet.

It is called the IVY Club Invitational Cardboard Boat Race. Teams of two must row through the muggy river water trying to keep themselves dry and steer their cardboard vessels across the finish line.

Ivy Club Rear Commodore Tim Ward said it has become not only a fun event for the club but also a way to raise money for a cause near to their hearts.

"Two of the past years, we've lost some of our good members to Alzheimer's," said Ward. "We really miss them and they were an important part of our club. We felt this was a real important cause to help cure Alzheimer's."

Event organizers hoped to raise up to $5,000 towards the Alzheimer's Association of Central Illinois.

While some swam and some sank, there could be only one winner.

That would be team Carp Hunters who of course celebrated in summertime fashion.

"We'll probably have another Miller Lite or two before the day is over," said Joe Hranka of the Carp Hunters.

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