Nov. 24, 2003 The Pathfinders Club braved the water and crossed Pillsbury Sound between St. Thomas and St. John in kayaks in three hours Sunday.
"It was tough, but we all got through it," said Pathfinder Raquel Phillip, who was making the trip for the second time.
Silton Browne, Pastor of Shiloh and Agape Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Pathfinder coordinator, said the event provides young people with a sense of adventure and achievement and is "something to move beyond the personal involvement and help the community. It brings another aspect of satisfaction to help them to serve."
More than 47 youngsters and adults participated in the fund-raiser.
The Family Resource Center on St. Thomas will receive 60 percent of the proceeds, while the Safety Zone on St. John will receive 40 percent.
"Young people can have clean fun and help out the community," said Carlos Robles, parent, adding that the young people benefit spiritually, socially, culturally and gain knowledge of the sea life in the territory.
"Many young people dont experience the water," he said.
"I did it for the fun of it," said Jechonias James, Pathfinder member. "I never went to St. John before, and next year I will do it again."
The Department of Planning and Natural Resources Enforcement Division gave all participants over age 14 a boaters' safety course. Younger members participated in an awareness program.
To qualify to go to St. John, participants had to paddle out to open water, flip the kayak, hold onto their paddle, and re-board the kayak, Browne said.
To ensure the safety of the group, DPNR officials and St. Thomas Rescue followed the kayakers in a small boat.
Malcolm Schweizer and Charles Matthew, both experienced water sportsmen, guided the group and kept them clear of traffic.
The amount of money raised has not been determined. The West Indian Company, Island Roads, Heath Health Enterprises, MSI, Apex Construction, Innovative Communication, Banco Popular, East End Lumber, Basic Services and Varlack Venture have committed to sponsoring the event.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name, and the city and state/country or island where you reside.
Publisher's note : Like the St. John Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.