It’s a beautiful Monday in Muskoka and a great day for paddling. That’s exceptionally good news for Cailan Punnewaert because she’s going to be doing a lot of it over the next week and a half.
Punnewaert, who will be entering grade 10 at Rosseau Lake College in the fall, plans to paddle more than 250 km during the next nine days to raise funds for the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Her ultimate goal is to eventually raise $100,000 for the Rosseau-based wildlife rehabilitation facility.
“I do it because animals are a big part of the survival of the human race. Every animal has a job on earth, and without these animals doing their job, the future of the human species is at risk,” says Punnewart. “When we lose a species it starts a snowball effect, and we lose another…and another, until we, at the top of the food chain will be left without food sources, without clean air, and worse.”
When she isn’t attending school or paddling in support of environmental causes, one can also find the Port Carling teen and aspiring actress on Netflix, where she plays Shelby on the series Ponysitters Club.
Punnewaert’s goal might seem ambitious, both from a distance and financial point of view, but it’s also nothing for the altruistic student. Last year she paddled some 120 km and raised over $30,000 for the Aspen Valley.
“$100,000 is a big number but I think it can be done,” says Punnewaert. “Muskoka is a big community that pulls together when needed and so many people come here to enjoy the beauty that Muskoka has to offer.”
Punnewaert launched this morning from Dwight to kick-off her fundraising adventure. You can donate to the cause at https://www.aspenvalley.ca/cailans-kayak-adventure-in-support-of-wildlife.html and follow along on her Instagram account at explore_with_Muskoka_girl.
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