Over the past several years the Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (TBNMS) has strived to raise funds for the sanctuary’s youth education programs and community outreach by raffling wooden boats made by local community boat building programs in northeast Michigan. One of the most successful events for raffle sales is coming up this weekend at the Presque Isle Harbor Wooden Boat Show.

“While raffle tickets are on sale right now at the Sanctuary Store in downtown Alpena, Friends volunteers had a great time and a lot of success with ticket sales last year at the Presque Isle Harbor Wooden Boat Show so we are going back again this year,” said Chuck Wiesen, Board President of the Friends of TBNMS. “We hope supporters of the sanctuary and Friends members will stop by and learn about all the great events and programs we have coming up at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center this summer, and help support our local youth programs by buying raffle tickets on not just one, but two beautifully handcrafted wooden items,” said Wiesen.

This year the Friends of TBNMS are raffling a Chesapeake Light Craft Eastport Pram, paddles and sail and a gorgeous Sliver Eleven Standup Wooden Paddleboard. The Eastport Pram was built by the Thunder Bay Community Boat Builders and is a 7’9” foot, hand-built wooden rowing dinghy.

“The Eastport Pram is the perfect compact, small-sail trainer designed to be rowed and towed,” said Wiesen. “Meticulously handcrafted by local boat builders, this classic Eastport Pram would make a great boat for parents and grandparents to pass on the thrill and skill of sailing to the next generation.”

In addition to the Eastport Pram, the Friends of TBNMS also is raffling an 11’2” long by 30” wide standup paddleboard that was built by Tawas’ Huron Coast Sailing and Rowing, Inc.’s Community Boat Builders.

“This beauty will be the envy of all your friends and family who enjoy paddling Michigan’s fresh waters. Paddling is a great way to check out the many shipwrecks in Thunder Bay that are located just off the sanctuary’s shoreline,” said Wiesen.

Raffle tickets can be purchased for both the Eastport Pram and the Sliver Eleven Paddleboard seven days a week at the Sanctuary Store, located at 500 West Fletcher Street in downtown Alpena, as well as this weekend at the Presque Isle Harbor Wooden Boat Show in Presque Isle Township. Tickets are each five dollars, or five tickets for $20 dollars. The raffle will take place on October 8, 2018 at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center.

Last year the Friends of TBNMS were able to raise approximately $7,500 on the raffle and split the proceeds with Huron Coast Sailing and Rowing, Inc. Huron Coast used their half of the funds to purchase materials for new boat building projects that included the wooden paddleboard being raffled this year by the Friends.

Those interested in the raffle items are encouraged to stop by the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center to see them on display, visit thunderbayfriends.org or call 989-884-6210.