Kayak Journey Raises Over $75K

Kayak Journey Raises Over $75K

OCEAN CITY — After six grueling days on a 175-mile kayak trip from Ocean City to Baltimore, a tired and happy group of bartenders and friends recreating the legacy of a popular Baltimore restaurateur paddled into the Fell’s Point harbor last Sunday afternoon with a successful mission accomplished.

The group of kayakers left Ocean City early last Tuesday morning on a 175-mile kayak trip from the resort area to Baltimore to replicate the former journey of Patrick M. “Scunny” McCusker, a long-time Ocean City resident and Baltimore restaurateur who died in August 2012 after colliding with an Ocean City bus while riding his bicycle along Coastal Highway in the area of 132nd Street.

McCusker was an ardent supporter of the Believe in Tomorrow program in general, and the Children’s House by the Sea in Ocean City specifically and several years back paddled solo in a kayak from Baltimore to Ocean City, raising roughly $100,000 for the organization in the process. After his tragic passing, a group of long-time friends decided to pick up the torch and continue his legacy.

Last year, the group of six friends, including “Delaware” Dave Powell, Jason Mislan, Jeff Mason, Beth Roche, Joe Wandishin and Stephen Twilley, replicated McCusker’s kayak trip from Baltimore to Ocean City and raised roughly 60,000 in the process. This year, two more kayakers, Shawn Paradise and Chris Furst, joined the group, which reversed direction and went from the Ocean City area to Baltimore.

The group left the Catch 54 marina in Fenwick early last Tuesday morning and headed north toward the Delaware Bay. Six days and few harrowing experiences, they arrived in Fell’s Point in Baltimore last Sunday afternoon amid much fanfare. Among the harrowing experiences along the way was Furst’s encounter with a five-foot shark in the bay around North Point Beach.

The Baltimore water taxi, appropriately named “Endeavor” met the kayakers near Fort McHenry and escorted them along the last leg of the trip. The crew arrived at Max’s Taphouse in Fell’s Point around 4 p.m. last Sunday with a huge crowd waiting cheering them from the docks.

With some loose ends to tie up and more donations still coming in, the group by midweek had raised an estimated $75,000 for the trek, aptly billed “175 miles, eight friends, six days, one great cause in memory of one great guy.” Donations can still be made to www.believeintomorrow.org.scunnypaddle.