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Fundraising Progress to Date

Meet Hank

Hi, my name is Hank Kohler!

In 1979, my brother Keith Kohler, friends Rich Wiebke and Dennis Weidemann, and I paddled canoes from central Minnesota to Hudson Bay. It was a 1300-mile adventure that became a story warmly retold in Denny’s book, “This Water Goes North”.

This summer, Picture of Hank Kohler on the river.42 years after that journey, I plan on starting at the same location and canoeing south to the Gulf of Mexico. Like the first trip, this trip will be full of fun and adventure; however, unlike the first trip, I hope this one will stand for much more.

I want to use the unique nature of this endeavor (the fact that I will have paddled to Hudson Bay and then the Gulf of Mexico from the same location, in two trips separated by more than four decades) to make people aware of and seek donations for clean water projects.

In my years of canoeing and fishing, water has taken me to wonderful places. Places that hold special meaning for me and my family. I’ve realized though, that by just visiting and admiring a location, I’m not doing it any long-term good. Sure, I’ll pick up trash when I see it, but I don’t have the knowledge or resources to make a lasting impact on places I cherish. That said, I know of those who can. I know people who right now are working to protect our vital water resources and educating young people so they can do the same for the next generation. 1979 trip to Hudson Bay

I am partnering with the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, to raise funds for their Take CAARE program. Take CAARE stands for Take Conservation Action through Advocacy, Research and Engagement. 

They are doing fabulous work with environmental issues from their facility in Dubuque, Iowa. This includes teaching individuals and communities to take responsibility for their local watersheds. They also spearhead several endangered species projects, hoping to save critically threatened fish, amphibians, and fresh water mussels. They are even working with coral reef restoration.

Just think of what good they could do with increased funding! If you are asking yourself why you should donate to such an effort, let me mention this possibility. What if in the future, things would really go sideways from an environmental and clean water standpoint. A generation from now, your child or grandchild may look up at you and ask one very simple question: “Why didn’t somebody do something?”

With this summer’s fundraising adventure, I want to be able to say that I did do something, and with your donation, you can too! 

At times, funds are raised to honor the memory of someone who has passed.  I’m asking you to donate for the betterment of those yet to be born.  This is the ultimate chance to pay it forward. Let us have the foresight to take courageous steps, even if they may bear no fruit in our lifetimes.

I encourage you to learn more about the Take CAARE initiative through the following link, donate, and have a positive impact on the future.


Hank Kohler

Follow me on Facebook @one4water #one4water

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Fundraising Updates!

Total Raised to Date: $32,853.10

Special thanks to Rockfarm for their generous lead gift of $5,000 to kick off Hank's efforts! Donations raised to date will purchase:

  • 32 SUPSY buckets to assist with rearing of young mussels to increase their populations & keep our rivers clean
  • 100 pollinator host trees to support pollinators vital to our ecosystem
  • 5 water quality testing kits to assess the health of our waterways
  • Necessities for 5 Restoration Days focused on removal of invasive species
  • 4 lbs. wildflower seed/plants for 20 native gardens to support vital pollinators
  • Support 4 teens/chaperones to present selected stewardship projects in DC
  • Support 11 teen selected stewardship projects
  • 2 Large Voyager Canoes for conservation programs for teens to 'Paddle It Forward'
  • Outfitting 2 new canoes with PFD's, Camping Equipment, Paddles and more

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