Opportunity Enterprises Dedicates New Accessible Canoe and Kayak Launch

Funders of the Kayak Launch from Left to Right: Kathleen and Marc Smith who also are representatives of the John and Ann Barney Foundation; Raeann Trakas representing Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation. (Photo provided)

In Porter County, Opportunity Enterprises recently dedicated a newly-installed accessible canoe and kayak launch at their Lake Eliza property. Opportunity Enterprises (OE) says the project, designed for individuals who use wheelchairs or have other mobility challenges, will provide many from Northwest Indiana with access to water recreation for the first time. The organization says it hopes the launch will also be used by others including kayak clubs, and veteran and school groups.

From Left to Right: Neil Samahon, President and CEO of OE joins Raeann Trakas representing Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation, and donors Marc and Kathleen Smith who are also representing the John and Ann Barney Foundation standing near the new sign thanking funders for the new accessible kayak launch. (Photo provided)

Neil Samahon, president and CEO of OE, welcomed guests and spoke about the importance of making water recreation accessible to people of all abilities. He also thanked Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation, John and Ann Barney Foundation, and Marc and Kathleen Smith for making this opportunity possible.

Staff, individuals served by OE, and launch funders end the launch ceremony with the tradition of dedicating the water access with sparking juice sprayed into the water for good luck and safe travels for users of the launch. (Photo provided)

Walter Lenckos, senior director of respite operations for OE, also took the opportunity to speak. “An accessible kayak launch was an idea that OE had for a while, and this idea became real because of generous funders who believe in OE’s mission of creating inclusive and equitable opportunities for people of all abilities,” Lenckos said.

Individuals served by OE show excitement for the new canoe/kayak launch recently installed at OE’s Lakeside Property on Lake Eliza. (Photo provided)


Volunteer Dennis Harrington demonstrates to the crowd how the launch can be used to access the water.
(Photo provided)


For more information about Opportunity Enterprises, visit oppent.org or call (219) 464-9621.