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Several underprivileged kids take first boat ride down Ohio River

WLWT Cincinnati logo WLWT Cincinnati 6/12/2018
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Many children never get the opportunity to ride on a boat, and for those facing homelessness, the opportunity might be even slimmer.

But on Tuesday, those children set sail on the Ohio River.

With life jackets fastened, they were ready for fun.

"It's going to be fun,” Janiah Pate said. “They say we'll be able to drive it, like drive the boat."

Janiah Pate and nearly 150 other children with Upspring participated in the cruise down the river.

Upspring is a local nonprofit that serves underprivileged children throughout Greater Cincinnati.

A group of boaters at The Marina at Manhattan Harbor in Dayton, Kentucky, donated their time and boats for the children to experience a ride many of them won’t soon forget.

"I'm super excited because I've never been on a boat trip before and this is my first time,” Branden Bush said.

The trip is met with safety first.

"All the captains talk to the crew and their guests about boater safety. That's part of it as well. We are careful to make sure they have their life jackets fitted and try to make sure we have fun but are safe,” volunteer Joe Tekulve said.

Then it was down the river they went.

The first stop was at Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club for a free lunch provided by the club.

Then, it was back to Manhattan Harbor.

"It's a super-cool experience and a lot of people have never really been on the water,” Tekulve said. “You see from land you see the river, but you rarely get to see the city from the river and it's beautiful.”

Tekulve said the experience came about after a group of avid boaters, including himself, wanted the children to experience the beauty of the river.

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