Student Paddles

One of our main goals is to show that our youth can take on challenges way bigger than they first imagined.

Kadin Patterson and Gordie Lafontaine, both 14, will embark on a 5-mile odyssey across the water in the next few weeks for several reasons, they said, including to call attention to Enbridge’s Line 5 fuel pipeline under the Straits and raise money for Stand Up for Great Lakes, a nonprofit that advocates for the natural resource.

ELK RAPIDS — Saturday has been a moment in the making for eight months for Paige Peters and Sophia Christian.

The eighth-grade duo from Cherryland Middle School in Elk Rapids will take to the waters of Lake Michigan as they cross the Straits of Mackinac on their paddleboards to raise awareness about protecting the Great Lakes. They plan on paddling the 5 miles from St. Ignace to Mackinaw City with tailing safety boats and an EMT.

“We’re both very passionate about protecting the Great Lakes,” Peters said. “We’re safe, and it’s actually quite fun. We have drysuits on. We’re strapped to our boards. We have PFDs (personal flotation devices). So we can jump into the water, and the only thing we’ll feel is a little cold. We won’t get wet at all.”

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