“Spare Seat” Kayak RouteSeneca Falls, N.Y. - The Seneca County Chamber of Commerce will be taking part in the upcoming Spare Seat Kayak Expedition, a state-wide human-powered waterways project, featuring British expeditioner Richard Harpham, and fellow adventurer/ photographer Glenn Charles, who will together embark on an incredible journey of more than 500 miles- by kayak, across the beautiful landscapes of New York State. The month-long expedition, organized by state tourism leaders at The New York State Division of Tourism's (I LOVE NEW YORK) UK office, starts on May 1, 2012, and will focus on the heritage, culture, wildlife, unique locations and attractions, communities and waterways along the route. The journey departs from Niagara Falls and travels east, where Richard and Glenn will kayak along the picturesque Erie Canal with its 36 locks, before reaching Albany and joining the Hudson River. They will then paddle south to Manhattan, completing the expedition at the iconic Statue of Liberty. Along the stops, the expedition will visit the Finger Lakes region, where the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce will host a variety of activities.  Harpham and Charles will kayak the route in double-seated kayaks, inviting members of the public and media to join them along the way. As passionate conservationists, they will encourage locals and visitors to get involved in New York State's preservation and ecological activities. The project will be photographed, filmed, and hosted on a dedicated website (http://www.thespareseat.co.uk/ ) with social media feeds, enabling the public to follow them along their journey. Residents and visitors are encouraged to cheer on the expeditioners and take advantage of the many events taking place along the route.  Harpham and Charles will meet with representatives from the communities that they visit, host talks, give kayaking tips, and attend community-generated events that promote local efforts to enjoy and protect New York State's waterways. Scheduled on the state-wide itinerary as a ‘day off' from paddling, the Spare Seat Expedition will visit Seneca Falls on May 6, 2012, where the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce will host an array of unique, yet relaxing and educational experiences and events. Combining the local attributes of the County's lakes and waterways; historical heritage; and agritourism, wine & culinary strengths, the Chamber has arranged meet and greet sessions with industry partners, photo opportunities, a brief driving tour, and a featured historic canal cruise-regatta; where partner water-based attractions and businesses will follow along the canal, also offering tours and boat rides to the public in honor of the special event.  Locals who are interested in taking part in this cruise, or who would like to learn more about the event and purchase tickets, are encouraged to contact the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce. "Seneca County is proud to have the opportunity to be included as one of the featured stops along this exciting venture. Our people and businesses will be on hand to welcome these guests to our area, and to showcase the many qualities of what we have to offer in our communities," said Jeff Shipley, executive director for the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce.

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The Seneca County Chamber of Commerce is also the official Tourism Promotion Agency (TPA) for Seneca County. The Chamber houses two on-site Visitors' Centers at its main location, as well as staffs information centers at the PETRO rest stop along the New York State Thruway, and at Waterloo Premium Outlets.  For more information, please visit http://www.fingerlakescentral.com/, email mpolmanteer@senecachamber.org, or call Miranda Polmanteer, director of communications and tourism promotion at 315.568.2906. Profile notes about Richard Harpham "Richard is an expedition kayaker and adventurer who has covered 5,000 miles in two years, on 11 expeditions.  Along with his friend and fellow adventurer Glenn Charles, together, the two have covered over 17,500 human-powered miles between them- by kayak, canoe and bike; and have a passion for inspiring young people and communities through their challenges. Along their visits, they will be sharing their experiences, giving talks about their adventures, and documenting their travels and interviews of people and places during the New York State Spare Seat Kayak Expedition on www.thespareseat.com. Richard's story includes several accomplishments, including his start of  ‘The Big 5 Kayak  Challenge' (www.big5kayakchallenge.com),canoeing the Yukon- 1,000 miles from Vancouver to Alaska, crossing the English Channel (the busiest shipping lane in the world) twice, and cycling from London to Marrakech. He has taken part in numerous charitable sporting events including the London to Paris cycle rally- twice, the Bedford 100 mile canoe marathon- 3 times, and competing with The Star Rafters on the rafting circuit. More recently, Richard has organized various charity events- including canoeing the 90 miles of the Caledonian Canal, and canoeing 100 miles from Bedford to Kings Lynn- all of which raised considerable funds for charities including WaterAid, NSPCC and The Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust. Richard's roles also have included being an inspirational speaker, a former manager of the Ghana Ski Team- where he lead his group to the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, and as a successful business man. Before he was an adventurer, Richard spent 10 years with Anglian Water Group- a company that provides water to homes and businesses for over 6 million people in Eastern England, where he was the director of various subsidiaries, including Managing Director of Morrison Facilities Management, growing it from £9m turnover to a profitable £25m turnover business. Richard then spent 5 years as an entrepreneur, where he began Majorsporty, an online store and community which traded successfully for 5 years. Through Majorsporty, Richard has had the opportunity to connect personally with a large number of athletes, adventurers and sporting icons. He has also assisted with Inspired Life, an organization set up by a core team of individuals determined to inspire people, organizations and communities through inspiring resources and people." Profile notes about Glenn Charles "Glenn is the second member of the New York State Spare Seat Expedition. Richard and Glenn met while Glenn was kayaking the Inside Passage, solo. Glenn has kayaked the Eastern sea board of the United States, and more recently, has been cycling solo around the US, where he completed over 12,800 miles of human-powered adventure. Glenn is passionate about preserving the environment and is a world-class photographer.      Contact: Miranda O. Polmanteer Director of Communications and Tourism Promotion, 315.568.2906