Father-son duo kayak the Chesapeake Bay in support of families in need

Posted at 9:16 AM, Jul 30, 2021

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, Va. - A 200-mile journey down the Chesapeake Bay comes to an end on Friday off the coast of the Eastern Shore.

Hearly Mayr and his 13-year-old son Andreas got into their kayaks near Elkton, Maryland on July 16 and traveled 15-20 miles every day since.

Their destination? Smith Island near the southern end of the Eastern Shore. Each paddle in support of families hurt by COVID-19 and still struggling to get by financially.

"For us it was really important for us to give back, to make sure we're able to support through a cause," said Hearly Mayr.

The cause? The Adventist Development and Relief Agency's COVID-19 Hunger Pandemic Response Campaign; money the Mayrs raised is part of $3 million headed to families in need.

But raising money might have been the easy part. This 200-mile journey is no leisurely float down the Chesapeake where battling weather and currents is just one part of the struggle.

"I would say some of the other challenges are things like staying hydrated, making sure you have enough fluids. Also, at every stop, we have to fight the mosquitoes," said Mayr.

But at the end of the day, this father and son have each other.

"We always I think struggle as parents and fathers to find time with our kids and so for me personally I really wanted to use this opportunity to spend time together, to have fun together and to challenge ourselves a little bit," said Mayr.

Making memories and making a difference for people in need.