The seventh annual What Floats Your Cardboard Boat? Race took on a transportation theme as 16 entrants paddled for prizes and kicked off United Way of Jackson County’s fall fundraising campaign.
Michigan Automotive Compressor Inc.’s “MACI Mustang” won for People’s Choice Award. Attendees voted for their favorite boat by donating money in each team’s bucket during the festivities.
Aladdin Electric’s “Aqua Bucket” outdistanced the other competitors at the urban fishery pond at Cascade Falls Park. Second place went to Western High School.
Ken Toll, President and CEO of United Way of Jackson County (UWJC), said the teamwork symbolized by the boat race also represents the key ingredient to eliminating poverty. “When our community comes together, we can accomplish anything—from paddling a cardboard boat to helping all people achieve financial stability,” he said.
The race serves both as a community event and the launch of United Way’s annual campaign. In 2016, UWJC announced it would channel efforts to helping Jackson County residents overcome poverty and economic instability—the common link across the community’s greatest social issues. Its long-term goal is to help 5,000 residents develop a pathway to financial stability by 2025.
The cardboard boats featured many modes of transportation besides boats, from a fighter jet to a snowplow to a helicopter. More than 350 spectators turned out for the event.
MACI has participated in this United Way event since its inception in 2012.
In 2017, two senior management staff crewed the MACI cardboard boat to victory: Bruce VerBurg and Joe Shaughnessy as MACI won first place in the championship heat.