Dean Payne Gets Paddled

Oars recognize his founding of the Float Your Boat race

9261481215_9435d912b4_b[1]Marc Linit, associate dean for research, and Vice Chancellor and Dean Tom Payne, try out the oars given to Payne by The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. Linit and Payne piloted CAFNR’s boat in the first Float Your Boat for the Food Bank race.
Deans need to be careful who they let in their offices. Sometimes, an unexpected mob bursts in with paddles.

The administrative team of The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri filled Dean and Vice Chancellor Tom Payne’s office recently in a surprise visit to present him with a pair of custom made oars, thanking him for starting the annual Float Your Boat for the Food Bank race.

In just two years, the Columbia events raised more than $20,000 for The Food Bank and a ton of food, providing more than 200,000 meals to Missourians in need.

“We are tremendously blessed by Dean Tom Payne and everybody at CAFNR for thinking of those who struggle with daily hunger,” said Food Bank Executive Director Peggy Kirkpatrick. “Thanks to their visionary work, thousands will have food to eat. Just as importantly, the high visibility and tremendous ‘fun-factor’ of Float Your Boat have helped us spread awareness of The Food Bank and its ongoing, precious mission. We look forward to many years of ‘floating boats for food’ with CAFNR.”

“I am delighted that the event and partnership with Food Bank has helped provide so many meals to help Missourians,” said Dean Payne. “I’m honored and humbled the Food Bank folks came by to surprise and ‘paddle’ me. The success of the event is due to a great collaboration with Peggy and her team, and the excellent job Kristen Smarr, CAFNR director of communications, and her team did in promoting the event. I hope next year’s event is even bigger, providing more meals.”

Dean Payne helps the 2014 CAFNR boat to get started.Dean Payne helps the 2014 CAFNR boat to get started.

Fun Race, Important Cause

The race is a fundraiser to help the Food Bank feed hungry Missourians. Dean Payne envisioned an event that would bring groups together to collaborate on an innovative, team-building project, culminating with a fun, unique competition – all the while supporting a great cause.

The first Float Your Boat race in 2012 had 20 boats participate and raised $2,447 in cash and almost 2,000 pounds of food.  This provided more than 28,000 meals to people in need.

The 2013 race attracted 46 cardboard ships and topped $17,000 in donations that allowed the Food Bank to provide almost 189,000 meals.

“Every dollar raised equals 11 meals or 15 pounds of food on tables in the 32 counties served by The Food Bank,” said Chris Sisk, special events coordinator at The Food Bank. The Food Bank is a non-governmental agency. More than 92 percent of its funding comes from donations, fundraising events and grants.

9264248750_6f696326f6_c[1]Left to right: Scott Gordon, communications coordinator for The Food Bank; Dean Payne; Chris Sisk, Food Bank central region coordinator; Peggy Kirkpatrick, Food Bank executive director; and Todd Pridemore, development supervisor for The Food Bank.
The Food Bank helps to feed more than 100,000 people each month in 32 counties in central and northeast Missouri, Kirkpatrick said. It distributes free food to 138 elementary schools through the Buddy Pack Program, a weekend food service for children; and 135 hunger-relief agencies, such as food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.

The majority of people receiving food are poor working families, the elderly and children. Seventy percent of Food Bank clients are working women with at least one child.

The commemorative half-scale paddles presented to Dean Payne are handmade of select cherrywood by Shaw & Tenney in Orono, Maine, one of the oldest continuously operated marine products companies in America. They have been in business continuously since 1858, and have produced tall ship masts, spars and other fittings for America’s Cup and Olympic sailing and competitive boats.

The 2014 Float Your Boat race will be held April 19 at the Bass Pro Lake in northeastern Columbia. Watch for details at:;