ELKHART  — The 10th annual Great Cardboard Boat Race on Friday – a kickoff to the United Way of Elkhart Count fundraising campaign – was the biggest and best-attended race yet, organizer said.  

Twenty-five businesses raced boats and more than 1,000 people attended to cheer on the rowers. Before the race, attendees enjoyed food trucks, a beer garden, giveaways and a festival atmosphere with tents set up along the wharf and a live DJ.

Each boat is raced to raise the most money for the community and win one of the coveted trophies, including a trophy for the most spectacular sinking (won this year by Welch Packaging). Teams spend weeks and sometimes months planning their boats and constructing the best design out of sheets of cardboard to take part in the race around the pond.

The event is designed to excite the community about the upcoming fundraising season for United Way and started off strong this year by raising more than $75,000, according to organizers.

The race took place at United Way’s offices at 601 C.R. 17, Elkhart, on LaSalle Bristol Corporate pond. The following were the award results:

n Live United Award: LaSalle Bristol, “The Ashley B”

n Judges Choice: Patrick Industries Design Studio, “Game of Thrones”

n The Wonder that Went Down Under: Welch Packaging, “Speed of Play”

n People’s Choice with the Most Mates, Barletta Boats

n People’s Choice with the Largest Treasure Chest: LaSalle Bristol, $22,855

n Crusader Race Winner: Utilimaster, “The Beast”

n 8th: Grand Design, “Mayflower”

n 7th: LaSalle Bristol, “The Ashley B”

n 6th: Thor Motor Coach, “The Black Throne”

n 5th: Beacon, “Pirates of the Caribeacon”

n 4th: Utilimaster, “Misfit Toy VIIII”

n 3rd: Forest River, “Lamberdingy”

n 2nd: Utilimaster, “Misfit Toy VIII”

n 1st: Goshen Health, “Seas the Day”

United Way has been fighting for the health, education and financial stability of every person in the community since 1922. More information is available at www.unitedwayec.org.

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