'A way for Plymouth to celebrate our waterway': City's park's dept. hopes to raise $11K for kayak launch

A view of Plymouth's Yellow River from a kayak.
Jamie Stoner
Staff Writer

Plymouth Parks Department (PPD) is seeking donations for a second kayak and canoe launch to be placed in River Park Square.

Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) CreatINg Places / Patronicity will match donations from $5,000 to $50,000.

PPD is asking $11,000 from the community which would result in a match of $11,000 from IHCDA.

“This is an all or none request," Plymouth Park Department Recreation Director Allie Shook said. "If we don’t raise $11,000 there will be no match and the money donated will be returned to those who donated.”

The initiative is to beautify Indiana.

“This is a way for Plymouth to celebrate our waterway," Shook said. "It will give members of the community another way to get out and get into nature. This is a different form of recreation.”

Plymouth already has one launch in Centennial Park.

“There is no other convenient location to get out of the water unless you know someone along the way," Shook said. "A float from the Centennial Park location to River Park Square would take about an hour without paddling. To float now to the nearest public launch site can take over three hours. This really opens up the opportunity for people who are interested in kayaking or floating in their canoe to set aside part of their day and enjoy it.”

The campaign opens at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, and has a hard deadline of Nov. 9. The time frame for raising these funds is a firm 45 days.

“To be eligible for the $11,000 matching grant, we must raise the $11,000 by Nov. 9," Shook said. "If we have raised $10,900 all $10,900 will be returned to the donors. It is critical that everyone who shares our enthusiasm for placing a secondary launch location within the city of Plymouth understands that if we don’t raise all of the $11,000, we will fail to launch.

“I am optimistic that we have enough support in the community to fund this," she continued. "Every donation counts. I want everyone who contributes to this cause to be proud of their donation. I want donors to be aware that the amount of their contribution is doubled because we have already qualified for the matching grant. If you donate $10, we get $20.”

There are seven contribution levels with increasing incentives for each donation.

Fans who donate $10 will be invited to the launch party which is being planned for the summer of 2019.

Supporters who donate $25 will not only be invited to the launch party but will also be given media attention for their contribution.

Advocates who donate $50 will receive all previous incentives along with an individual five-punch card to be used at the Plymouth pool for the summer of 2019.

Enthusiasts who donate $100 will also receive an individual season pool pass.

Fanatics who donate $250 will also receive two season pool passes.

Stewards who donate $500 will also receive 4 season pool passes. Champions who donate $1,000 will benefit from four season pool passes and one free shelter rental for an event to be used within a period of one year starting next summer.

“I see only positives from a second launch," Shook said. "It will build the community and give residents and visitors a safe way to experience the river.”

$11,000 in donations from the community will result in a matching $11,000 from IHCDA which will provide $22,000 to build the launch.

“All the permits are in place for this," Shook said. "This is the final step in our efforts to establish a second launch in Plymouth. It’s all or nothing now.

“If we raise more than $11,000, the excess will be utilized but will not be matched," she continued. "IHCDA requires a firm request of funds before they authorize the match.” Shook confirmed that the launch will also be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Plymouth Parks Department has already allocated funds to the project. This additional request is what is needed to bring the vision to full manifestation, a vision which has been pursued for years and is now within site.

Donations can be made online at www.patronicity.com/TheLaunch. Electronic donations will be ‘held’ by the bank until the completion of the campaign. If the campaign results in a failure to launch the money will not be removed from the donors bank account. If the campaign is successful the donation will be billed in November.

Checks can be mailed to The Launch 1606 N. Michigan St., Plymouth, IN 46563.

Cash donations can be taken to Shook at her office at the Webster Center. All cash and check donations will also be refunded if the campaign does not raise the required $11,000. She can also be reached at 936-2876.

“At first I thought $11,000 was a lot to ask for," Shook said. "But, considering the matching grant and the unlimited possibilities this creates for the community, I really believe we can do this.”