Kayaking Down Canandaigua Lake and Back, For Kids
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For Steve Clough, there's no more peaceful a place than the water.
"Seems like you've got a little more freedom. Just yourself. Go wherever you want."
Monday found Steve on Canandaigua Lake.
"At least it's not raining."
A 4 a.m. start.
"It was dark. A little cool, but there was no wind unlike now, and the water was like glass coming down here."
The Fairport man set out with a purpose.
"I've always wanted to do this. I've been planning this for probably six years."
Steve calls it "Kayak for Kids." He's doing it for his son. Now a young man, Jon Clough was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart ailment when he was a kid.
"Doesn't surprise me. This is really in keeping with Steve's character and the kind of man he is. He's amazing," said Gina Clough, his wife.
The trip down Canandaigua Lake and back up, 32 miles total, will raise money for the Golisano Children's Hospital. It's Steve's way of giving back.
"I know the amazing things they do there, and it's a great way to support what they do. Times are tough."
Steve's son Jon fell ill in 1998. He was just 10 years old, and it was right before the family was set to take a vacation. Steve credits the people at Golisano Children's Hospital with a diagnosis that saved his son's life.
"They save lives. I'm a product of pediatrics at Strong. A long time ago, but the same thing. I had a problem with my heart, wasn't supposed to live and here I am," Gina said.
As grueling as a 32-mile kayak trip is, especially the last leg, against the wind, it's at the same time peaceful.
"Just the cloud formation in the sky. The reflection on the water."
And the time to reflect on the people who save lives.
"This is one way I can give back to them, for helping out my son and my wife."