Drive starts for adaptive boat launch

By Patricia Ann Speelman -

MINSTER — A Minster couple are working with the Lake Loramie Improvement Association to make boating on Lake Loramie accessible to handicapped people.

Susan and Leon Mertz are active kayakers. They think it’s time that an adaptive launch be made available so more people can enjoy their sport. They have investigated several possible apparatuses and have selected one that will make getting into and out of canoes and kayaks easier for people with disabilities.

“We’re transforming it so someone who’s in a wheelchair can get into pontoons,” Leon said. “We’re also making an opening so a bass boat can tie up to it, so someone with mobility issues who is not wheelchair-bound can get in.”

But first, the couple must raise $80,000 to purchase the adaptive launch. Fundraising began a week ago and $5,000 has been pledged so far. Donors can send tax-deductible checks to the Lake Loramie Improvement Association, with “Adaptive launch” in the memo line, and mail them to Adaptive Launch, P.O. Box 206, Minster, OH 45865. Donations can also be made on the Lake Loramie and Lake Loramie Improvement Association Facebook page and at

“The whole idea is to get disabled people out on the water,” Mertz said. The launch uses planks to raise a craft out of the water so that someone can more easily get into and out of it from a dock.

The Mertzes hope to be able to install the launch in June or July between the campgrounds and the beach, just off state Route 362.

A photo of the launch can be seen on the Lake Loramie and Lake Loramie Improvement Association Facebook page.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.