Ogallala Rotary Club hosts annual kayak fundraiser

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - It's time to set sail -- even in early November -- where the freezing water and sharp wind can't keep these sailors away.

Racers start to line the shores of Martin Bay with their kayaks after returning from a three-mile loop around the bay.

Saturday morning at the Martin Bayside of Lake McConaughy, the annual Ogallala Rotary Club "Kayak Big Mac" race started up. It's an annual fundraiser and kayak race designed and hosted by the rotary club.

It's the off-season, but that doesn't keep these water enthusiasts from scooting into the water.

"Anybody can actually kayak in July and during the summer or spring, but not everyone can do it in November," said Rotary Club President Lorena Beckius.

Paddles and life vests in hand, these kayakers help support water projects both locally and internationally, making sure they take care of Lake McConaughy.

.But this year is a little different.

"The money that is being raised is to pay for kids to learn how to swim," Beckius said. "We need to make sure that water safety is huge."

Arriving bright and early, hand-warmers in tow, rotary club and community members huddled around hot pancakes and coffee, before going on a paddle loop around the bay. Three miles total for each participant.

Racers from surrounding towns came out to show their support as well.

"We're a team of people that we are neighbors, friends and family that join our skills to help and make a difference in the community," Beckius said.

Anybody is welcome to join the rotary club.