Cape Coral man paddling Mississippi for disaster relief

Lee Herald Favicon 16In an effort to help those affected by natural disaster or civil conflict, a Cape Coral man will solo paddle the entire length of the Mississippi River this summer to raise funds for ShelterBox USA.

Erik Elsea’s goal is to raise a total of $255,200, averaging about $100 per mile.

“As a realtor, I know how important it is for people to have a home and a community,” said Elsea. “By supporting ShelterBox, we can help ensure that many more families around the world will have shelter when disaster strikes.”

ShelterBox is an organization meant to provide aid in the form of family-sized tents and essential resources to start repairing and rebuilding homes. ShelterBox also provides aid kits containing items such as cooking sets, solar lights, blankets, water and activity sets for children, Items that help turn a shelter into a home.

“I’m honored to be both a Rotarian and a volunteer ShelterBox Ambassador,” said Elsea. “The collaboration between the two organizations enables many more people to receive the help they need after losing everything.”

Elsea will begin his trip with a canoe launching party hosted by the Park Rapids Rotary Club at Itasca State Park in Minnesota. Elsea believes that his trip will take up to 90 days, canoeing an average of 25 miles a day. According to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, approximately 40 people attempt to canoe the entire Mississippi river each year.

“Flooding remains the greatest natural cause of devastation on our planet,” said Elsea. “I want to commemorate the 25th anniversary of that Great Flood by supporting relief efforts for others around the world who have lost their homes in recent disasters.”

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