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LARC receives biggest check yet from Wild Hog proceeds

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By Sean Arnold

The Wild Hog Canoe Race has seen monumental gains in popularity and fundraising over the past few years since coming under new leadership.

The grueling 15-mile canoe and kayak race down the Waccasassa River celebrated its 40th anniversary this year on April 22, and it was the biggest version yet.

On Monday in Otter Creek, WHCR president Keith Maynard presented a $21,000 check to Betty Walker, the executive director of the LARC, which receives all of the proceeds from the race.

The amount set a new record for the event, and was around five times as much as the donation total from around five years ago when Maynard first took over.

“Oh my gosh! $21,000!” said a stunned Walker when the check was revealed at the Arc of Levy County Adult Training Center.

“I want to say thank you,” Walker continued. “Everybody in here should be grateful. I just thank God for everybody that has participated in this and made this a bigger event. I’ve never seen so many people in my life. We have come a long way.”

There were 133 boats in competition this year – also a new record – and more than 70 sponsors. For the first time there was also a zip line in the party area at the end of the race near Gulf Hammock.

“I’ve never seen that many people there,” Maynard said. “So we’re thankful, thankful for what God has done again.”

Joining Maynard in representing the Wild Hog Canoe Race at the check presentation was his son Justin Maynard and board member David Kunkleman. The LARC clients were also in attendance and thanked the WHCR members.

“We’re very thankful for you because you’re greatly responsible for us being able to work and take care of the clients,” said Bill Slaughter, who works for LARC. “We are very privileged.”