Gallagher and Marvin

Jane Marvin (left) and Sue Gallagher are raising funds for neglected and abused children by kayaking the full Smith Mountain Lake. 

Less than a month after launch, Gallagher, 70, and Marvin, 60, have paddled more than 200 miles of the 500-plus shoreline of Smith Mountain Lake. The two are kayaking the full lake to raise funds and spread awareness for neglected children and to help recruit new volunteers to be court appointed special advocates (CASAs).

Gallagher has previously done this fundraiser awareness, but this time she has a companion with her. Marvin, who is an outdoor fanatic, said this fundraiser is her first time doing something major with kayaking and has noted it was tough at first.

“The first couple of days, all across my back and my arms, they would ache like crazy, and it wasn’t after I got off the water; it was like after 20 minutes in the water,” she said. She noted that over the course of kayaking multiple days, she was able to build endurance and strength and it has gotten much easier for her.

Gallagher jokingly said that being two years older doesn’t help, but she is not having much of a problem either.

If one were to know just how much these adventurous women kayak every day they are out, they just might be surprised. When Gallagher did this by herself, she kayaked an average 7 to 10 miles a trip. Now with her and Marvin going together, they are averaging up to 15 to 20 miles a day, or an average of five and a half to eight hours a day.

Their longest day kayaking so far has been 26 miles, and they both feel like they are on, if not ahead, of schedule.

There’s more to this story in the current issue of the Smith Mountain Eagle newspaper. Pick up a copy or subscribe at to view the full article in the print and/or e-edition version.

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