'Rock the Boat' for a good cause in St. Joseph

United Way of Southwest Michigan

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- United Way of Southwest Michigan invites the community to the "Rock the Boat Cardboard Boat Races," set to take place Thursday at the Inn at Harbor Shores in St. Joseph.

“We have 26 boats participating and they’ve been sharing some of their boat designs with us leading up to this Thursday’s event. I think we’re going to have a great year of competition,” stated Zack East, Senior Director of Organizational Sustainability at United Way of Southwest Michigan. “Some of them look like works of art. You can’t even tell they’re cardboard. Whether they’ll float is a different story!”

This event features life-size boats made entirely of cardboard, which will race in heats on the river channel for attendees to see in-person, or if you can't be there, stream it online here.

Organizers say the goal is to raise funds for United Way of Southwest Michigan and have a bit of fun.

The event begins at 5 p.m., Thursday, and is free to attend, but organizers say donations are appreciated.

Food and drinks will be available from Plank's Tavern on the Water at the Inn at Harbor Shores as well as food trucks from Ben’s Pretzels and The Brick House, with a special event drink, the “Mango Lassi,” created by KT’s Rasoi.

The event will be hosted by Our Lady of the Lake Athletic Director and WSJM Sports’ Phil McDonald.

You can vote for participating teams here, and voting is open until the day of the event.

Voting for teams will allow them to receive monetary donations toward their chance to win either the Captain’s Award for most money raised, or the People’s Choice Award for most individual donors.

Proceeds from the event go to United Way of Southwest Michigan’s 2024 campaign, and the employee campaigns of participating employers.

The rain date for the event is Tuesday, July 16, with the same schedule of events and location.

Event organizers say they're watching forecasts intently and will make a public call prior to noon on Thursday. The notice would be posted on the United Way of Southwest Michigan social media pages.

Lisa Altman - boat build


Share this article: