Hospice of Texarkana is incredibly proud of Team Texarkana Buzzard Food who recently completed the treacherous Texas Water Safari in 61 hours and 41 minutes, 44th overall and 2nd in their class! The Team, Hampton Fontenot, David McGonagill, Sean Rommel, Dawson McGonagill, and Carson Rommel began this epic race, touted as the World’s Toughest Canoe Race, on June 12th in San Marcos and crossed the finish line 260 miles later June 14th. The race runs from the headwaters of the San Marcos River, down the Guadalupe River, 6 miles across San Antonio Bay at the Gulf of Mexico and ends finally at the little town of Seadrift, Texas. Participants are allotted 100 hours to complete the race, and every difficulty imagined can and should be expected: snakes, sweeper limbs, rapids, log jams, portages, insects, alligators, gar jumping into the canoe at night, sleep deprivation, exhaustion, heat, and even hallucinations.
Nevertheless, the Team entered their first TWS race in 2018 with canoe number 3394 (latitude/longitude for Texarkana). David and Sean manned the boat, and Co-Captain Hampton tracked, followed, and supplied the only items allowed to be given a team: food and drink. The first year, Team Texarkana Buzzard Food finished in 83 hours and 43 minutes. Determined to break 60 hours, Team Buzzard Food again ran the TWS in 2019. While they fell just short of their goal with a total time of 60 hours and 28 minutes, the Team came away with not only a desire to beat the clock but also to raise awareness and money for a needed cause. COVID-19 cancelled the 2020 TWS, but for 2021 Team Texarkana Buzzard Food partnered with Hospice of Texarkana for the first ever 2021 Hospice of Texarkana PADDLE-A-THON and raised over $17,000 to support the regions only Hospice Inpatient Care Center.
Hospice of Texarkana cannot thank Team Texarkana Buzzard Food enough for their extreme efforts fundraising and prevailing over the treacherous 58th Annual Texas Water Safari! These TOUGH guys have our utmost respect!