Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

Chamber raffle canoe won by young New London, Minnesota family

Oct 25, 2019 12:41PM ● By Editor
Photo submitted by Jim Boyd

Chamber raffle canoe won by young New London, Mn., family.

When the winning ticket in the Chamber of Commerce’s canoe raffle was drawn Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the 2019 Fall Gala, it bore the name of Toni Koch of New London, Mn. In an exchange of emails that ensued, Chamber executive director Jim Boyd learned the story of how Toni Koch and her family came to visit Grand Marais and purchase a canoe raffle ticket. For the second time in three years, the winning ticket was sold at Java Moose Espresso Café, which is beyond amazing!

In a charming note, Toni wrote, “Back in August my husband and I, along with our two young boys, took a family vacation. In preparation for vacation we created a list of places that we had not visited and Grand Marais was on the list. 

“Duluth & the Apostle Islands are a couple of our favorite places but we had never driven all the way up the north shore to Grand Marais. But, it quickly became another favorite.

“We are a young family from New London, Mn., and we enjoy all things nature. We live on the Crow River and take our children canoeing and kayaking multiple times a summer. So when we were visiting Grand Marais in August and saw the wooden canoe on display, we decided it would be so fun to win this beautiful canoe and support this quaint town in northern Minnesota that we fell in love with instantly. 

“We purchased our raffle ticket at Java Moose Cafe while grabbing our morning coffee to enjoy by the majestic Lake Superior.

“My husband and I plan to make a date weekend in Grand Marais to retrieve the canoe.

“Grateful & Blessed,

“Toni, Charlie, Henry and Harrison Koch”

Jim Boyd responded: “How wonderful that our community canoe will go to a young family. We are very glad it will have such a terrific home.”

Boyd also expressed gratitude to the crew that made the canoe possible: “This never would have  happened without the vision and persistence of Jack Stone of Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply,” he said.

“Jack had the idea and then persuaded North House Folk School and instructor Jeanne Bourquin of Ely that it was a good one. North House graciously waved the tuition for the class during which the canoe would be built and assigned Josh Tolkan, artisan in residence at North House and experienced boat builder, to be the main builder. To assist Josh, Jack assigned his staff to work shifts at North House on the canoe rather than at the store on the retail effort. With a strong assist from Jack’s manager, Beth Poliquin, the staffing not only came together, but everyone had a grand time. I spent four days working on the canoe and wished I’d been able to do more.”

Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply also offered tickets for sale all summer, for which Boyd said he is very grateful.

Boyd also expressed thanks to Sarah Hallberg and Becka Jorgenson at Java Moose for hosting a ticket sales point, to Tyson Cronberg and Austin Oullis at Beaver House, where most of the tickets were sold, and to Buck’s Hardware, which also offered tickets for sale.

Proceeds from the raffle will be used to fund new Great Place Project grants next spring.


Upcoming Events Near You
DNR Fall Color Map
Fall Color Finder
Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here