Andy and Connor Montgomery will paddle 162 kilometres in the legendary Brent Run through Algonquin Park as they try to raise $75,000 for Camp Mini-Yo-We in Huntsville.
Andy, who was a camper at Mini-Yo-We when he was younger and currently serves on the camp’s Board of Directors, says he and Connor both feel strongly about the importance of sending kids to camp. However, they realize how expensive camp is getting and, for many, it’s become unaffordable.
Initially, a goal of $50,000 was set, but Connor says they’re quickly marching towards that number, so they bumped it up to $75,000. He adds every dollar raised will go towards sending kids that otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to camp.
“We’re navigating this challenge with grit and gratitude,” says Andy. “Each donation pushes us forward like a tailwind.”
Donations can be made on BrentRun.com. The website will also allow people to track Andy and Connor on their journey.
Rich Birch, Executive Director of Camp Mini-Yo-We, says the Montgomerys have been involved with the camp for a long time. “I do think it’s a little bit crazy what they are trying,” he jokes, pointing out the trip they’re doing usually takes over a week.
“I’ll be cheering from the shoreline,” he jokes, adding he’s honoured they’re doing this for the camp.
Andy says he’s been a passionate paddler for most of his life and got Connor involved when he was young, too. He adds they often take day trips through Algonquin.
However, this journey is more than they have ever done. “I remember he looked at me, he was very young at the time, and said, ‘Dad that just so dangerous why would anyone do that,'” comments Andy on Connor’s initial reaction.
Connor says the pair recently did a test run of sorts and did close to half of the route while taking multiple pitstops. “A lot of planning has gone into this,” he continues.
A specific date for the paddle hasn’t been set yet, but Connor says they expect to depart two weeks from now. They want to hold off on picking a day for as long as possible so they can get a better idea of what the weather will be like.
Andy expects the trip to be between 28 and 30 hours.
“Offering these children an unforgettable summer camp experience is the ultimate award,” says Connor.