Community Involvement

The AuSable River International Canoe Marathon Committee is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization dedicated to organizing and promoting the annual AuSable River Canoe Marathon. The committee is also focused on generating public exposure for the communities in the AuSable River Valley and increasing awareness of our unique natural resource: The AuSable River.

The annual Special Olympics Challenge and Marathon Scholarship Program were developed by the Committee to give back to the wonderful communities that support the Marathon. Learn more about each event below or Click Here for Special Olympics Challenge or Here for the Marathon Scholarship Program.

Special Olympic Canoe Challenge

Since 1989, the Grayling Knights of Columbus has teamed up with the Marathon Committee to conduct the Special Olympics Canoe Challenge. This heartwarming event pairs professional Marathon paddlers with area Special Olympians to paddle a short looped course upstream and back down in an aluminum canoe. It is not a long endurance race like the one held the next day, but to these very special participants, it is far more important. To them, it is more than just a minute or two of fun; it is something they look forward to for a whole year. It is their time to be part of the action!

The Special Olympic Canoe Challenge is held each year during Friday Time Trials. If you have not had the opportunity to see the event, you should stop by and cheer on the teams. The huge smiles when the Olympians cross the finish line or receive their participation medals make this a must-see event.

Each year the Marathon Committee donates a portion of the Marathon entry fees to the Michigan Special Olympics. To date, such donations have totaled close to $20,000.

Special Olympic Articles

Marathon Racers Paddle With Special Olympians During Annual Event by Carlie Wilson, Crawford County Avalanche Staff Writer

Annual Event Features Marathon Paddlers with Special Olympics by Carlie Wilson, Crawford County Avalanche Staff Writer

In January 2017, the Marathon Committee established the Marathon Scholarship Fund to support youth in our communities. Each year four scholarships are awarded.

  1. Graduating senior from Crawford AuSable (Grayling) High School
  2. Graduating senior from Oscoda High School
  3. Graduating senior from Mio AuSable High School
  4. Marathon paddler who is currently pursuing a degree or enrolled in a trade school OR to the son, daughter, or grandchild of a past Marathon paddler who is a graduating senior.

The amount awarded will depend upon the success of the Committee’s fundraising activities but will be no less than $250.00 each.

Award Recognition 

During the Opening Program in Grayling and the Finish Line Awards Dinner in Oscoda, the scholarship recipients will be announced. The names of recipients and schools attending are listed in the Marathon Spectator Guide. Recipients receive an invitation to the Marathon VIP areas at the Start and Finish Lines.

Application Process

Scholarship applications are available through your school’s guidance office or directly from the Marathon Committee. To be considered for a scholarship you must:

    1. Complete and sign the application form
    2. Provide a letter of recommendation from at least one of the following:

     · A staff member from your current high school
     · A past or current employer
     · The Director of a non-profit organization for which you have performed volunteer work within the past two years

  1. A staff member from your current high school
  2. A past or current employer
  3. The Director of a non-profit organization for which you have performed volunteer work within the past two years
  4. A brief discussion of the school activities and community service work you have performed during your high school career or in the past four years if you have already graduated

Academic performance is considered during the review of applications. However, the primary selection criteria will be the level of involvement in school and community activities.

While not a condition of the scholarship, the Marathon Committee kindly requests recipients volunteer three hours of their time in some manner to assist with the Marathon.

Applications should not be submitted to your high school or a Marathon Committee member.

Applications must be mailed to the following address:

ARCM Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 652
Oscoda, MI 48750


Paddler Scholarship 2024 printable form
Paddler Scholarship 2024 fillable form

Scholarship Funding

ARCM, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization. Therefore, your donations are not tax-deductible.

The Committee does not use money from its general operating fund for the scholarship program. Scholarship funding comes from separate fundraisers and the generous contributions of supporters. If you are interested in supporting the Scholarship Fund, donations can be mailed to:

 ARCM Scholarship Fund

P.O. Box 911 Grayling MI 49738

P.O. Box 652 Oscoda MI 48750

Scholarship Recipients



Jessica Montgomery (Oscoda)

Madelynn Williams (Grayling)
Natalie Kellogg (Marathon-related)
Tyler Obermiller (Mio)


Austin Lavigne (Mio)
David Millikin (Grayling)
Kaden Schirmer (Oscoda)
Madalynn Elliott (Marathon-related)

Katelyn Moore (Grayling)
Anna Roy (Oscoda)
Sierra Lunning (Mio)

Gage Davis (Grayling)
Lauren Langley (Oscoda)
Lexus Marsh (Mio)

Blane Johnston (Grayling)
Jacob Post (Oscoda)
Max Winkler (Marathon-related)

Haley Kocefas (Grayling)
Samantha Lamrock (Oscoda)

Molly Leslie (Grayling)
Megan Reinhard (Oscoda)

Looking for ways to volunteer?