Ruben and Corrie Bolton show off Float Your Boat's first-ever solely cardboard boat.

Ruben and Corrie Bolton show off Float Your Boat's first-ever solely cardboard boat.

Ruben Bolton and his daughter Corrie took this year’s cardboard boat challenge to a whole new level.

The duo built a boat entirely of cardboard: No duct tape; no glue; no paint.

Prior to the races at Float Your Boat on Saturday, Bolton admitted he was not sure the boat, titled “Nothing but Cardboard,” would make it across Bass Pro Shops Lake. Not only did it float, it beat the competition in speed.

Nearly 50 cardboard creations set sail for The Food Bank this past weekend, raising money to help feed neighbors in need. The People’s Choice Award brought in more than $8,000, while the total raised during the event is still being calculated.

For Bolton, the challenge was spiritual. The cardboard represented the purity of his beliefs. While extras such as glue and caulk may make a boat seem more equipped for the water, Bolton said he wanted to put his faith solely in the foundation.

Others participating in the sixth annual cardboard boat regatta say boat building was an exercise in teamwork.

“Definitely a lot of team building,” said Lisa Matthiesen with the Centralia High School SMART program. Sixth graders in the afterschool program constructed their boat, learning math, science and engineering along the way. “It was a good learning experience.”

Edward Jones of Columbia participated in Float Your Boat for the first time this year.

“We heard about it several years ago,” said Laura Loomis, captain of her team’s boat. “We decided to do it and jumped in with both feet.”

While Edward Jones’ “Rub a Dub Duckie” boat—complete with balloons and a trail of tiny ducklings—did not win its heat, it did take the “Best Use of a Theme” prize.

Environmental Dynamics International retained its People’s Choice Award title, raising more than $2,000 for The Food Bank.

“Every year, this is our jam,” said Sherri Redmon. “We have bake sales, fundraisers and get employees involved all across the company. They look forward to this.”

EDI also had fun with its boat theme, recreating Lego Batman using cardboard costumes.

Redmon stressed that the fun is secondary to the mission of The Food Bank.

“We float their boat,” she said. “They float our spirits.”

Prize Winners
People’s Choice: Environmental Dynamics International, “Lego Batman”
Best in Show: Floating Elmerinos, “Elmerine” Ghostbusters
Can’t Believe it’s Cardboard: Ruben Bolton, “Nothing But Cardboard”
Best Use of a Theme: Edward Jones, “Rub-a-Dub Duckie”
Ugliest Boat: CAFNR Student Council, “Boats N Heifers”
Titanic Award for Best Sinking: Eat Mo Carp, “Carpe Diem”
Bass Pro Shops Award: Professional Contractors & Engineers, “Corrugated Corsair”
Pirate Class Award: Unilever, Monster Truck Inc.

Short Course Time Winners
1st: Floating Elmerinos, “Elmerine”
2nd: Wild Folk Unschool, “Mystery Canoe
3rd: Mill Creek Cougars, “Cougar Cruisers”

Long Course Time
1st: Professional Contractors & Engineers, “Corrugated Corsair”
2nd: KOPN, “Patty Mae”
3rd: Unileaver, “SS Minnie”