Matching gift to support NFCT’s AWA acquisition

Raquette Lake couple pledges $20,000

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) has received a $20,000 gift to assist with its acquisition of Adirondack Watershed Alliance events and activities.

John and Deanna Sammon of Raquette Lake announced their pledge following a joint press release from NFCT and AWA.

“This acquisition of AWA’s activities is a terrific opportunity to enhance the mission of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail,” said Sammon said. “This is a strategic decision that will strengthen the organization’s ability to steward the canoe trail and promote paddling in communities across the Adirondacks and the Northern Forest.”

AWA has been managed by Brian and Grace McDonnell for over two decades. It currently coordinates the ‘Round the Mountain Canoe and Kayak Race and the Celebrate Paddling Invitational in Saranac Lake, the Long Lake Long Boat Regatta and the Adirondack Canoe Classic, known more commonly as the 90-Miler.

“The response to our announcement from current NFCT supporters and the broader Adirondack community has been incredibly heartening,” said Karrie Thomas, NFCT’s executive director. “Mr. Sammon’s gift represents a major vote of confidence in NFCT’s decision to take over these beloved AWA events.”

NFCT will continue to fundraise throughout 2020 to complete the AWA acquisition. The Sammons’ gift represents 20 percent of the total anticipated costs. John and Deanna challenge others who, like them, value the contributions of the 90-Miler and the NFCT to the Adirondacks and its communities to help match their donation. For more information, contact Karrie Thomas: [email protected]. To make a donation towards the AWA purchase, you can send a check to Northern Forest Canoe Trail, PO Box 565 Waitsfield VT 05673 with a note indicating your intent. To donate online, go to our secure online store and indicate that your donation is for the AWA purchase in the Special Notes field.

AWA will continue to manage its events in 2020, with NFCT staff and volunteers observing and engaging in all aspects of operations, with a particular focus on the 90-Miler. NFCT seeks to complete fundraising and officially acquire all aspects of AWA in 2021, taking on correspondence, registration, marketing and sponsorships. Brian McDonnell will continue working with NFCT through 2022 to ensure the events and activities are implemented in keeping with the expectations of partners and participants.

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is a nonprofit organization that maintains and promotes the 740-mile water trail that runs from Old Forge, New York, to Fort Kent, Maine, and connects New York, Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire and Maine. The trail showcases the mix of landscapes and communities currently lining the traditional routes used by indigenous peoples, settlers and guides. It is the longest in-land water trail in the nation and consists of 23 rivers and streams, 59 lakes and ponds, 45 communities and 65 portages.

For more information, visit or call (802) 496-2285.