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Northeast Wisconsin Paddlers Annual Meeting and Banquet
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Northeast Wisconsin Paddlers Annual Meeting and Banquet

When: Saturday, January 26, 2019
Where: Legends of De Pere
875 Heritage Road
De Pere, Wisconsin 
United States
Contact: Ken Braband

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Steve Baskis, one of five blind military veterans who recently kayaked the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, will talk about the amazing adventure at the Northeast Wisconsin Paddlers annual meeting Jan. 26 at Legends in De Pere.


Green Bay resident and NEWP Vice President Ken Braband, one of the sighted guides supporting the blind paddlers for the 12-day, 226-mile trip, will describe the trip and introduce Steve. Braband is the local co-leader of Team River Runner, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to offering disabled veterans health and healing through adventure paddle sports.


Their trip was featured on NBC’s Today program Nov. 29. It also was the subject of a Google Maps Film and Google Street Views and a 360 Video. Braband chronicled the adventure in a blog at


The NEWP presentation begins at 4:30 p.m., with dinner to follow at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 and may be reserved in advance by registering online at Non-members are welcome to attend the presentation and dinner. The business portion of the annual meeting – including a business meeting and election of officers and board members – precedes the presentations at 3 p.m.


Baskis was severely wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2008 while deployed with the US Army 4th Infantry Division. He lost his sight and suffered multiple shrapnel injuries to the head, neck, arms and legs. After extensive rehabilitation, he went on to climb some of the world’s tallest mountains, compete in half marathons and a half Iron Man triathlon, cross-country ski racing, road bike racing and whitewater kayaking.

Guided only by verbal cues from fellow veterans paddling nearby in separate whitewater kayaks, the veteran from Montrose, Colo., and four other blind veterans launched Sep. 1, 2018, to take on chaotic rapids up to class IV and 54-degree water. Baskis will give his first-person account of paddling the Colorado’s raging rapids without the benefit of sight. 

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Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling; stewardship support to help protect paddling environments; and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition, exploration and recreation.

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