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Biking, Kayaking for Marietta's 225th Birthday, All to Support Community Center
Posted on: 05/10/2013
By  Mike Cullums
Late next week a group of local residents will embark on a trip that includes history, bicycling, kayaking and fundraising.
As part of the 225th celebration of Marietta’s founding, a group of six local residents will re-trace the trip of General Rufus Putnam and his band of pioneers from Ipswich Massachusetts to the confluence of the Ohio and the Muskingum.
One of those taking part, Dan Jones, gives WMOA listeners details of the trip.
"We’re leaving on May 16 to drive out to the Boston area. Then we start our trip on May  18.  We’ll spend a couple of weeks bicycling across that part of the country to a town called West Newton, Pennsylvania, which is on the Youghiogheny River. When we get to the Youghiogheny we’ll probably hold up for a day or two and relax a little bit because we’ll be tired.
"Then, we’ll take our kayaks, which will be waiting for us, and we’ll throw them into the Youghiogheny River. We’ll paddle down the Youghiogheny and down the Monongahela to the Point in Pittsburgh, where we’ll pick up the Ohio. Then, we’ll paddle home to Marietta. That will probably take another seven days. This is about a three week trip.”
They hope to arrive at the landing near the Westward Ho Monument in Muskingum Park on June 8.
Dan Jones tells us who’s involved in this endeavor.
"Gary Murphy, Roger Murphy and myself are the ones that are going to do the pedaling and the paddling. We have three other members of our team. Bill and Sally Wesel are going to follow us in their RV so we have a place to sleep and eat at night.  Peter Prigge is going to be driving the chase car, keeping us on route every day. We’re really getting wound up and we’re just about ready to go.”
The endeavor is called Westward Home 225, and it has a purpose beyond recreation and history.
In order for the Harmar Community Center to grow, it needs additional financial support from the community. So the organizers of Westward Home 225 are asking individuals, organizations and local businesses to come together by donating money for each mile that the Westward Home Team completes during the trip.
They’ve designed a pledge form which allows donors to choose how much they will contribute per mile. For example, a donation of a dollar a mile means the donor will be giving $925 dollars to the Harmar Community Center and the Boys & Girls Club.
You can find pledge forms and much more about the trip, including a very cool map, at WestwardHome225.com
And stay tuned to Local Radio AM 1490 throughout the trip for updates from the Home Team.
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