June 27, 2019

Media Advisory – Paddle for Patriots Event Change

Due to high water conditions, one of the upcoming Paddle for Patriots public events of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Veteran Adventures program is changing locations.

The July 13 event originally set at the Devil’s Backbone Park along Bunkhorst Avenue in Grand Tower is being moved to the St. Nicholas Landmark, 111 Ferry St. in Chester. The event is still from noon to 3 p.m., July 13.

In addition, plans remain in place for a celebration event that begins at 2 p.m. and continues until after the fireworks, which are set for dusk, Saturday (July 6) at The Loading Dock, 401 Front St. in Grafton, Illinois.

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the celebrations and the Paddle for Patriots summer-long journey. The public is also invited to the celebrations. The events include entertainment, food, special guests and the opportunity to win prizes.

If floodwaters require any change in plans for either celebration, information will be shared via Facebook and Instagram.

Greg Nejmanowski, an SIU recreation professions graduate student and coordinator for Touch of Nature Environmental Center’s Veteran Adventures Program, is paddling the entire 2,300-mile length of the Mississippi River to raise program awareness and enlist support as well as draw attention to the tragedy of veteran suicides. The program helps veterans adjust to life through meaningful outdoor experiences.

Najmanowski began his journey May 25 at the mouth of the Mississippi in Minnesota’s Itasca State Park and he plans to wrap up the trip at the Gulf of Mexico in August. His goal is to raise $25,000 needed to keep the program in operation for a year. Donations so far top $5,300.

For additional information about Paddle for Patriots, or to track Nejmanowski on his voyage, visit the webpage at ton.siu.edu/program-areas/veteran-adventures/fundraisers/.

Find the complete story about Nejmanowski’s adventure and details about the planned celebrations at news.siu.edu/2019/06/060619-paddle-patriots.php.