Float Your Boat provides excitement, raises money for The Food Bank


CAFNR's Core of Discovery canoe catches up to competitor Socket at Saturday's Float Your Boat for The Food Bank.

CAFNR's Core of Discovery canoe catches up to competitor Socket at Saturday's Float Your Boat for The Food Bank.

The Corps of Discovery was built for speed, said team member Donna Thomas.

But the thing tipped over the minute it hit the lake at Bass Pro Shops.

Sure enough, though, MU’s College of Food, Agriculture & Natural Resources’ 2016 Float Your Boat entry was, indeed, a speedy vessel. The team got the canoe back in the water, managed to catch up to its competitor and reached the shore just two seconds behind Socket’s “Gravy Boat.”

This year’s Float Your Boat for The Food Bank was full of exciting and surprising races as teams set sail to raise money for The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri.
Unilever debuted a Scooby Doo-themed boat, and Mystery Inc. carried all of its favorite characters. 

“This is our third year,” said Janet Farris, who was dressed as Daphne. “It’s so much fun. And it’s for a good cause.”

Mill Creek Elementary teachers John Gerhart and Megan Kinkade made the event part of a class assignment. Gerhart’s students were tasked with coming up with and voting on the boat’s theme, a sports car, then spent about 15 to 20 minutes a day designing and building it in class.

Boat building involved engineering, measuring and mathematics,  Gerhart said. “They’re also learning to make tough decisions.”

Kinkade’s class’s covered wagon-themed boat ended up winning the heat against Gerhart’s class, however both teams were winners. They won this year’s Bass Pro Shops Award, as well as second and third in overall time for the short course.

The Pond Queen—a prom-themed boat—was also part of a class project. The boat was a partnership between MU Operations and a construction class at the Columbia Area Career Center. As a fundraiser, the group held a contest asking others whether the boat would swim or sink—most expected it to sink. Indeed, the Pond Queen tipped over at the starting line but Heiddi Davis and her teammate got back in the cardboard boat and managed to paddle to the shore. 

But it was the Mizzou Asian Affairs Center that managed to have the most epic sinking of the day. With one boat themed after the Titanic—complete with Rose and Jack, arm in arm—the boat “hit” its competing iceberg-themed boat and sunk. Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” played in the background as Jack and Rose were once again separated by sea. 

EDI, this year’s clean water sponsor, had one of the most popular boats of the day. Its “Ship of Fools” included presidential candidates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as well as a couple of former politicians, including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Sarah Palin. Team members spent much of their time prior to the races taking photos with spectators. The boat also earned the coveted People’s Choice Award, raising more than $2,000 for The Food Bank. The final amount the event raised will be available later this week.

“This year’s Float Your Boat was so much fun,” said Lindsay Young Lopez, executive director of The Food Bank. “The boats were so creative, and the teams so excited. What a great way to help share food and bring hope to those in need.”

The Food Bank Board Member Michael Kateman poses with EDI's "Ship of Fools" team members dressed as candidates and politicians. 

The Food Bank Board Member Michael Kateman poses with EDI's "Ship of Fools" team members dressed as candidates and politicians. 

2016 Float Your Boat Winners

Pirate Award – Crockett & Chubbs sponsored by Paragon
Best Spirit Award – Mystery Inc. by Unilever
Bass Pro Shops Award – Crazy Cougars and S.S. Manifest Destiny
Titanic Award – Titanic & Iceberg by Mizzou Asian Affairs Center
Ugliest Boat Award – Ugly Duct
Best Use of a Theme – APB Abominable pumpernickel bandits
Can’t Believe It’s Cardboard – SS DogMistress by DogMaster Distillery
Best in Show – Blew-by-You
People’s Choice Award – Ship of Fools by EDI

Races
Short Course
    1 S.S. Oatmeal
    2. S.S. Manifest Destiny by Mill Creek Elementary
    3. Crazy Cougars by Mill Creek Elementary
Long Course
    1. Nuclear Guacamole
    2. The Corrugated Corsair by Professional Contractors & Engineers/Roteract of Columbia
    3. Bunker Hill by Missouri State Teachers Association