CLEARWATER -- Central Minnesotans got out on the river and raised money for local organizations that work to empower women in St. Cloud at a brand new event this weekend.

Zonta Club of St. Cloud teamed up with Clear Waters Outfitting Company for the first-ever Kayaking for a Kause on Sunday. Event Chair Rachel Thompson says the new fundraiser was held in lieu of the annual golf outing due to COVID-19.

We wanted something that was a little bit more family-friendly and based on the weekend. So we thought what's something that's outdoors due to COVID and something that people of all skill sets can feel comfortable with? So we thought what better way than spending the day on the Mississippi River right in our backyard?

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The family-friendly outing included a five-mile canoe, kayak, or tandem kayak trip down the Mississippi River, a silent auction, food, and various vendors including Terebinth Refuge selling their handmade soaps.

Thompson says the money raised at the event will stay in central Minnesota by supporting several organizations.

It's Terebinth Refuge, Anna Marie's Alliance, the LSS Crisis Nursery, and then our scholarships that we are giving all the proceeds to.

She says the Zonta Club plans on bringing the event back next year and hopes to see it grow to be even bigger and better.

Zonta International was founded in 1919 in Buffalo, New York and currently has about 1,200 clubs in 63 countries. The St. Cloud club was founded in 1950.

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