Raffle for custom-made canoe to benefit Evart Bands

EVART — Area residents can help Evart Bands and have a chance to win a custom-made canoe.

Tickets are on sale through Thursday, May 4, for the locally made canoe, valued at $5,000.

During the annual Airplane Egg Drop on Saturday at the Evart Municipal Airport, one of the canoe's builders, Jeff Junker, was on hand selling tickets for the fundraiser for Evart Bands.

"The canoe was made down at 7th Street Coffee with some help of some guys who have made some poor life choices and are trying to better their lives," he said.

Junker said the canoe is made from all local white cedar, basswood, walnut and ash. It combines white cedar strips, hand-caned walnut seats, walnut decks, ash gunwales, carved ash carrying yoke, ash thwarts, walnut and basswood feature strip and has an epoxy fiberglass hull.

"It had been for sale for a little while, but it didn't sell," he said. "I wanted to sell it, and decided to let the Band Boosters raffle it off for the band. It's a good idea to benefit the band. It benefits everyone."

Junker and the five others spent around 200 hours working on the canoe.

"I built one before and really liked it," he said. "Building something like this really gets in your blood."

Junker said one of the more difficult things was bending the strips of cedar to form the hull of the canoe.

"It takes a lot of time to to get all those strips to come together," he explained. "Then, we covered it with fiberglass epoxy."

Junker added it takes a lot of patience to go from planning the project through completion.

"Once you put the first strip down and look at it, it doesn't look anything like what it's going to be," he said. "It takes a lot to have the patience to see all the parts coming together. Then, once it starts looking like it's supposed to, you get excited."

The canoe is built with gunwales that allow for equipment and other supplies to be kept in place during trips on the water, or in case the canoe tips over.

The drawing for the canoe is set to be on Facebook Live during the Evart High School Spring Band Concert on May 4.

Tickets can be purchased from any Evart High School Band Booster or participating vendor, including Affordable Prints, located at 901 N. Main St.