Monday, September 22, 2008

Back on the Water

I met Andy this spring and discovered he was an avid kayaker without a kayak. He did have a wheelchair though and limited use of his body from the collarbones up. Enough to get him back on the water and paddling again.
Andy Janicki, Kevin Carr, Karen Carr at a Rutabaga-sponsored adaptive paddling event
Andy Janicki talking with Kevin and Karen Carr, owners of Chosen Valley Canoe Accessories
Johnson Outdoors, who just happens to have their headquarters in the great town of Racine, WI., donated a kayak to Andy's employer, the Wisconsin DNR, to further Andy's efforts in promoting adaptive paddling. The paddling community, across the country, came together and raised enough money to purchase adaptive paddling gear. With that, we were off.

I met Andy at Devil's Lake State Park one day in mid-July, got the boat set up and him in it. Then - he was off and free again, paddling on his own for the first time in almost four years.

Dana Johnson's efforts getting the word out within the paddling community were instrumental in this effort being a success.
Andy Janicki back on the water
Andy Janicki, back on the water thanks to Johnson Outdoors and the paddling community
Next time you are in Brookfield, WI., be sure and stop in at the REI there and ask for Dana. She's great. Johnson Outdoors is one of the few publicly held companies in the paddlesports world. It's a pretty big place with alot going on. Cynthia Georgeson works there and was instrumental in making this happen. She took the time to listen and care and make something good happen for the small world of adaptive paddling. People like her will help this effort grow and reach out to more people.

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