Executive Director Dan Rice introduced Dr. Brian Harte as Honorary Canal Boat Captain at the 2019 Canal Captain's Ball, held at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn on Friday evening.

Harte, president of Cleveland Clinic Akron General, said he loves nature and the history of the canal and the Towpath Trial.

“I have three kids, and every nice weekend we walk, hike or bike the Towpath Trial,” he said, “I’ve run every mile of the trial between Cleveland and Zoar.”

The evening began with a silent auction of gifts and services that stretched all the way around the Hilton ballroom. Sylvia Trundle liked all of the baskets as she and her husband, Mark, placed their bids. Also placing bids were: Toby Gorant, Deandreia Bell, Roger Read, Lisa Sadeghian and Doug Cooper.

Deborah and King Chan, who came from California for the event, joined Ron and Kristen Wilson and Will and Ruth Apitz for dinner. Also enjoying the event were: Karl and Terri Lewis, Matt and Morgan Lasher, Michael and Diane Ellis, Ken Clarke and Laura Biddle Clarke.

Shannon Keeling and Alysia Jones circulated through the crowd to sell raffle tickets for an unusual bar, later won by Deborah Chan.

Following dinner, board Chairman Jeff Herald thanked everyone for their support as he introduced members of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition Board.

“Every year, over 2 million hikers enjoy the Towpath Trail,” he said, “we are creating a legacy for future generations.”

Bob Hale conducted Fund a Need, which raised $9,000 for the coalition’s Bluegill Fishing Derby, which provides inner-city schoolchildren with an opportunity to experience outdoor recreation along the Ohio & Erie Canal.

Hale also conducted the live auction where Mark Trudics had the winning bid for a ride on a Goodyear blimp, Ed Savitski won a Great Escape to Chautauqua, New York, and Deborah Chan won a private charter on the St. Lucie Sound car on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.