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Waco city councilman embarks on jet ski journey for good cause

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Posted at 6:18 PM, Jul 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-01 17:19:46-04

A man with an adventurous spirit is looking to give back.

Waco City Councilman Jim Holmes is gearing up for his next wild ride. He's taking jet skis down the Mississippi River to raise money for a local hero.

"All the way from Saint Paul to New Orleans," Holmes said. "The entire length of the Mississippi, 1,700 miles."

This trip has been on Holmes's mind for years, but it was a friend of his, Waco Cultural Arts President Doreen Ravenscroft, who suggested he do it the honor of Doris Miller.  

"He's on the river and Doris Miller was one the sea," Ravenscroft said. "I think it's an amazing adventure! I think it's risky, I think it's daring."

Holmes admires the statue honoring Doris Miller that sits along the Brazos. He's hoping he can do his part to make sure Miller's memorial is as remarkable as his legacy. 

"I've got a lot of respect for people who put their lives out there for our country and for our freedom," Holmes said.

Holmes' family will post updates on the adventure on The Mighty Mississippi River Jet Ski Adventure Facebook page. People can also make a donation to the cause from the page. More than $4,000 has already been raised.

"To have this kind of support as we're coming to the finishing line, which is basically what we hope the jet ski river run will be. That's when it becomes emotional because we've been living this for so long and our team meets every week," Ravenscroft said.

Ravenscroft said constructions is about halfway complete, but they still need around $900,000 to get the job done. The plan is to unveil the memorial by the end of the year.

"A world-scale kind of monument is going over here and we need to get it done," Holmes said. "We're almost there. Let's get it finished up and keep it in the consciousness of the community."

Holmes will ride jet skis down the river with his son and stepson while his wife and youngest son follow them by car.

He expects the trip to take eight to 10 days. He began driving to Minnesota on Thursday and will meet with the mayor of Saint Paul on Friday. He's hoping to hit the water soon after.

"We've got a pretty tight schedule of where we need to be," Holmes said.

While this journey may seem out of the ordinary for some, Holmes is a thrill-seeker who's been on plenty of adventures. He's climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and has even run with the bulls in Spain.

"I've been lucky enough to do a lot of interesting things," Holmes said. "This is my family vacation. My family vacation is just a little more adventurous than most people's I guess!"

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