Thursday, October 28, 2021

Kayak Marco 24 donates proceeds

Steven presents Pastor Ben Sprankle with a check.

Steven presents Pastor Ben Sprankle with a check.

By Natalie Strom 

In a twist of fate, Steven Banks’ Guinness World Record Attempt to kayak the outer perimeter of Marco Island, Goodland and Cape Romano, was cut short due to heavy lightning strikes. Steven’s overall mission in this World Record Attempt, was to raise $20,000 for three different charities. While his trip was cut short and the monetary goal was not quite attained, Steven has still been able to help all three charities and will be attempting his Guinness Record setting goal later this year.

On April 20, Banks set out at 1:00 PM from The Snook Inn, expecting to arrive back at his starting point 24 hours, and 24 miles of non-stop kayaking, later. In the days prior to the event, Marco was experiencing perfect weather. Forecasts for the 20th were not nearly as promising. Realizing that he would now be facing rain along with winds, tidal changes and kayaking throughout the night, Steven was not deterred.

Running ahead of schedule, Steven had paddled 33 miles by midnight. At this point, rain had been pouring for a number of hours and the continuous lightning made it too dangerous to continue his mission. Plans are already in the works for a second attempt, likely in October.

Steven believes that fate intervened that night to allow him a second chance to raise the $20,000 toward three charities close to his heart. As of April 20, Steven raised $2,000. That money has already been passed along to the benefitting charities.

Local charity, IMPACT, received a check for $1,000 from Steven, presented at a recent church service. Pastor Ben Sprankle of The Family Church in Naples, graciously received the check. IMPACT supports families within the community who are underprivileged. The program partners with other local charities such as St. Matthew’s House and Habitat for Humanity. They offer local assistance in the form of easter egg hunts for low-income children, shoe donation drives and other outreach programs.

Steven sent $600 of the $2,000 to the Urestiougi family in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Leonarda Urestiougi is progressively losing her sight as she attempts to care for her son, Roberto, who is an epileptic, often having five or more seizures a day. Banks hopes to bring the family to the United States for medical treatment. Visas cost around $3,000 per person to bring the Urestiougis to the United States.

The final $400 was sent to Partners in Hope, a medical center based in Malawi, Africa, which offers financial, medical and other support to those suffering form HIV and AIDs.

Steven sees this bump in the journey as a second chance to bring his ultimate goal to fruition. As the rainy season sets in, he will be busy planning his next attempt at KAYAK MARCO 24.

To see pictures and video footage from Steven’s eleven hours at sea, visit www. Visit www. to learn more about the mission of Kayak Marco 24.

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