Paddle Poker Fest was Sunday

A small group of participants took part in the inaugural Paddle Poker Fest Sunday on the St. Joseph River.

Sponsored by the St. Joseph County Conservation District, the fundraiser for the Centreville-based agency competed against early-morning rain and prospective participants who had made other holiday-weekend commitments.

The six-mile ride down the St. Joseph River started in Mendon and concluded at Covered Bridge Park. Along the way, participants picked a playing card at five different points.

The winning hand was a pair of 7s held by Otsego resident Wayne Kline. Second- and third-place winners were Three Rivers residents Richard Bovee and Justin Hines.

Event organizers said they plan to tweak the date, starting time and cost of a similar fundraiser next year in hopes of generating more participation.

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