Boats Battle to Float in Benefit for Foodbank

Related Story

COLUMBIA - Mid-Missourians gathered at Bass Pro Shops Lake in Columbia Saturday to participate in Float Your Boat for the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. 

Fifty-two teams registered to race this year and raise money for the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. Each team created a themed boat made with cardboard. A total of 26 heats took place, with two teams competiting in each round.The event was sponsored by the food bank and MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

Coordinator of Media Relations for MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Rick Mertens said he hopes this year's event will raise a record amount of money. People could vote for their favorite boats by making cash donations. Last year the event raised more than $17,000 in donations. Each dollar collected provides 12 meals or 15 pounds of food for poor working families, the elderly and children. 

Duane Chapman particpated in the race with the Columbia Environmental Research Center. The team's boat, "The Naught Dog," was created to look like a Chicago style hot dog. Chapman said the theme had a special meaning.

"[The Columbia Environmental Research Center's] been going over there month to month to volunteer, and kind of the nemisis of the food bank volunteer is having to pack hot dogs," Chapman said. "It's one thing that's kind of a little bit icky, so everybody likes to complain about it. So, of course we had to make a hot dog float."

Leon Toebben also took part in the race with the MU Life Sciences Center. He said he wanted to participate to support a good cause. His team's theme was Popeye the Sailor Man.

Several prizes were given away including best in show, can't believe it's cardboard, best sinking and people's choice.