Stand Up for the Great Lakes group paddles across Lake Superior

Joe Lorenz, Kwin Morris and Jeff Guy, from Stand Up for Great Lakes, paddled more than 60 miles across Lake Superior. (Photo Courtesy: Scott Lorenz)

LAKE SUPERIOR (WPBN/WGTU) -- Three men from a Traverse City organization made the trip of a lifetime to raise money for the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society.

Joe Lorenz, Kwin Morris and Jeff Guy, from Stand Up for Great Lakes, are paddle boarding across Lake Superior from Sinclair Cove in Canada.

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“The new goal of this trip is to raise more than $20,000 for the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society,” says Morris, age 31, and a teacher in the Elk Rapids School District.

After 12 hours and 28 miles into their more than 61 mile trip, the trio laid a wreath at the same spot the Edmund Fitzgerald sank more than 42 years ago.

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The bio-degradable wreath had 29 white carnations representing the members of the crew that went down in a terrible storm on November 1, 1975 and one single carnation representing all who were lost on the Great Lakes.

The idea of paddling across Lake Michigan first struck the guys when Kwin and Jeff were doing a standup paddle together. They later met Joe Lorenz at a Christmas party, who had a similar idea. He said, “Let’s do it!” So, they put together the team and a plan, formed a non-profit and from that point forward worked to make it a reality.

In 2015, the trio first crossed Lake Michigan, a 60-mile and 23-hour journey, and raised $10,000 for the Great Lake Alliance.

In June 2017, they crossed Lake Huron and raised $7,000 for Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The 90-mile paddle journey took more than 28 hours to complete.

Each man carried all of his supplies, which included food, extra clothes and straws that filter drinking water from the lake, on his own paddle board.

There were also two boats following the trio with an emergency medical technician on one and a crew ready to jump in for a rescue on the other.

The trio paddled into Whitefish Point in Michigan's Upper Peninsula the site of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, around 6 a.m. Wednesday.

“I am proud to know these ‘stand-up’ guys and have been educated to their sincere commitment in keeping the ‘great’ in GREAT LAKES,” says Scott Lorenz, Joe’s father. “They’ve planned it out thoroughly and in great detail. Their paddle boarding journeys are an incredible accomplishment.”

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