Young men bring kayaks back to Northampton nonprofit

  • About 55 people taking part in the All Out Adventures Kayak-a-thon on the Connecticut River depart from the Hatfield public boat ramp about 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 24, 2017, to start the second half of the 12-mile event which started in Sunderland and concluded in Northampton.

Staff Writer
Published: 7/12/2019 10:14:23 AM
Modified: 7/12/2019 10:14:10 AM

NORTHAMPTON — Two kayaks taken from the Northampton Community Rowing Boathouse have been returned to All Out Adventures by the young men who took them, and no charges will be filed.

“I never in a million years expected this ending,” said Karen Foster, the executive director of All Out Adventures.

All Out Adventures provides outdoor programming for seniors, the disabled and veterans. It discovered two of its kayaks were missing Monday.

The parents of one of the young men who took the kayaks read an article about the theft in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Foster said.

“It was because they saw it in the paper,” she said.

They then contacted the father of the other young man, and the pair of 18-year-olds turned the kayaks in at the police station. One of the young men also accompanied the kayaks on their return to All Out Adventures on Wednesday.

“They won’t be charged,” Foster said, a fact that was repeated in a Facebook posted by Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper.

The theft also sparked a fundraiser to replace the kayaks, which was started by Mark Britton, an administrator on the Connecticut River Rats Wmass Chapter Facebook page.

“I didn’t think that they’d get recovered,” Britton said.

Foster called him about the kayaks being returned, he said, and told him the money raised would be invested in a new locking system, with any left over used for the purchase of additional kayaks.

Britton said that he’d reached out to everyone who’d donated to the fundraiser, which he planned to end Thursday, about this development and that nobody has responded negatively to it.

“It’s still going to a good cause,” Britton said.

As of Thursday afternoon, $1,100 had been raised. Foster said that this will mean that All Out Adventures will get to acquire a new locking system and keep one of the two kayaks they bought to replace the stolen ones. The other newly purchased kayak will be sold.

Foster said the two young men who took the kayaks will be helping All Out Adventures develop the new locking system.

This plan was come up with after the father of one of the young men suggested that All Out Adventures ask the pair to do something for them.

“Here is our small town’s best caper,” Foster said.




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