A FUNDRAISING fanatic has completed her latest challenge to canoe from Stoneleigh Abbey to Warwick Castle – but it wasn’t all plain sailing.
Alexandra Pearson, Community Champion at Morrisons in Leamington, took on her fourth charity challenge of the year – Paddle to the Castle – recently to bank cash for Warwickshire Search and Rescue.
She was joined by former Warwick mayor Richard Edgington, as well as her dogs Archie and Chester, in a canadian canoe with no former canoeing experience and a fear of water.
High Sheriff of Warwickshire David Kelham waved them off on their seven mile journey, which took them through reeds, under trees and over two weirs, which led to them capsizing and having to be rescued – ironically – by Warwickshire Search and Rescue who were with them every stroke of the way.
Tessa from Warwickshire Search and Rescue said: “I was delighted by the way Alex and Richard worked together in the boat. Given that neither of them had paddled before they settled down well and gained control of the boat. We undertook a journey that was well out of their comfort zone.
“The most impressive thing, though, was that they were up for anything, especially the two weir shoots. The second may not have gone the way we planned but the swim didn’t stop them getting back in the boat and even asking to go again. It takes courage to do things that scare you. You didn’t want to get wet, but you faced your fear and did it anyway.”
Alex said: “What a day and what an adventure. When I choose my fundraising challenges they have to be big and have to push myself and they have to be unique. I was very nervous in the water and it took me time to calm down and move. But we did it. I did say I don’t want to get wet but we did, we got very wet.
“The team does so much for us in Morrisons with our community engagement that I wanted to raise money for them. The fact we tackled obstacles in the water and overgrown trees was just a huge thing for me. As well as doing the two weirs. I had amazing company with Richard and we did have a good laugh. I am proud of what we achieved and so happy we completed the Paddle to the Castle.
“A huge thank you to all who have donated so far. The event showed how dedicated they are and how training is so important.”
Alex has gained a reputation for her crazy challenges and has already ridden a pedalo down the Grand Union Canal and completed 15 mile dog walks to bank cash for charities including Safeline, Molly Olly’s and Evelyn’s Gift.
And she isn’t done with fundraising yet. Her next mission is to walk 17 miles for Evelyn’s Gift.
Richard said: “I was delighted to take part in one of Alex’s crazy fundraisers with such a dedicated group of people. I feel that it is so important to support such a dedicated and professional organisation. It made me realise even more goes into getting onto the front line locally. I am worried as Alex did ask what am was doing next year.”
To donate visit Alex and Richard’s JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alex-richard-paddletothecastle