MARCO ISLAND — There are many world record holders who beat all odds to swim the longest distance, run the fastest, blow the biggest bubble gum bubble, and stomp grapes as quickly as possible. But a local man aims to break a world record for the longest time in his kayak circumnavigating the waters around Marco Island, without stopping for 24 hours.
Steven Banks, a forty something, and a long-time resident of Marco Island, is hoping to not only set a World record, but he wants to raise $20,000 for three causes meaningful to him, and his family, on April 20, 21. He will begin his journey at the Snook Inn, and will paddle pristine waters around Marco Island, without stopping throughout the night to sleep or rest.
There are three causes Banks says he is paddling for. “One-hundred percent of the funds raised will go directly to three outreach programs. Fifty-percent will go to a local community faith-based outreach program called IMPACT. This program provides assistance to families with emergency needs in Collier County, as well as other projects here in the community, through the Family Church of Naples Outreach Program. The other 50 percent will go to an international outreach program establishing the One World Foundation. This is an international outreach program that provides financial, medical, and other support to a family in Cuaravaca, Mexico, and to another program in Malawi, Africa, that is called Partners in Hope, that provides free treatment to families and children that have the HIV and aids virus.”
Despite her husband’s long journey, Kieu Banks will be waiting closer to home for her husband’s safe return to the Snook Inn. “Yes, I’m worried. But, I’m going to pray for him, and give it all to God. He has such a big heart for helping people,” she said. “We do this to make other people’s lives better, and we walk on faith.”
Kieu is packing many of her husband’s essential items for the trip, but there is not a lot of room on board, so only items for survival will be on his kayak. “He can’t carry a lot of stuff with him, so mainly it will be a lot of granola,” Kieu said.
If nature calls, Banks hopes that he can maneuver properly to make due. He will be videotaping and documenting every part of his trip. “I’m hoping that there will be no number two involved,” Banks explained with a nervous laugh.
“I’ve helped him for three years now, and he has a passion for kayaking. I’m going to be there for him. It’s a big risk. He’s going through shark-infested waters at night, and fatigue sets in with 24 hours on the water,” explained Art Cuellar, who often assists Banks with his kayaking adventure company, Dreamlander Tours.
As Banks prepares for his trip, he has collected donations from many Islanders, and asked for loose change at various businesses on Marco Island. He also welcomes everyone to the Snook Inn on April 21st at 1:00 p.m., where he plans to land, and celebrate his new Guinness Book of World Records accomplishment and fundraising endeavor.
Donations can be made to: Kayak Marco 24 at 2701 55th Terrace SW, Naples, FL. 34116.
Welcome Back Celebration at Snook Inn
1 p.m., April 21
Live Music by “Smokin Joe and Connie”
Regular Menu items will be served
Donations can be made to: Kayak Marco 24 at 2701 55th Terrace SW, Naples, FL., 34116