Ladies Moonlight Paddle raises $3,500

Decorated water vessels line the Bear Ice ponds on Friday, Aug. 25, when dozens of local women gathered for the annual Ladies Moonlight Paddle. (HERALD PHOTO/Rana Jones)

EVANSTON — The third annual Ladies Moonlight Paddle was held Friday, Aug. 25, at the Bear Ice Ponds and raised around $3,500 from the silent auction and registration fees. Funds go to any maintenance or projects for the Bear River Greenway, which serves as a natural and cultural focal point of the community.

The event’s coordinator, Marilee Jackson, has been on the board for more than 20 years. Jackson said she got the idea for the moonlight paddle when she and friend Patricia Arnold attended a similar fundraising event at Rockport Reservoir in Utah. She thought it was a great idea and said, “This is right up our alley. We could do this in Evanston.”   

Attendees formed a drum circle during the event.

“After the drumming,” Jackson said, “there will be a water ceremony. We try to do it close to a full moon every August.”

There was a contest for the best decorated float and the silent auction closed at 9:30 that evening. Food and refreshments were provided at the pavilion where raffle tickets were purchased.

The turnout was a success, with 52 pre-registered participants and even more showing up.

“It’s a fun girls’ night out,” Jackson said. “Each year the event grows.”

Varsity Inc. donated T-shirts that were available to registered participants. Alex Moscinski won the paddle board that was donated by GLIDE.