The Friendship Paddle

The Keiki Paddle

The children's paddle (keiki is Hawaiian for child) started in 2008 based on two desires; the first being that many of our own children wanted to participate in our organization and second, we, as parents, wanted to instill the fundamental concept of giving back to our community and having a little fun while doing it.

Children between the ages of 7 and 16 sign up and commit to a code of membership and ethics. They pledge to practice, be a good team member, recognize the paddle is not a race, support each other and raise a minimum of $100. Like the adult paddle, each team relay paddles the entire distance. Support boats carry the team and carefully watch the transitions.

In 2008 we had over 80 paddlers complete the 8 miles from Goleta pier to the Santa Barbara pier with a celebration and BBQ on Ledbetter Beach. They raised money in support of two beneficiaries; Hospice of Santa Barbara's "I Have a Friend" program that mentors children that have lost a parent and the family of Sofia Pena. Sofia was 2 and a half when she was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma. The surgery, chemotherapy and stem cell transplant procedures needed to beat the disease was expensive but our kids raised enough to help pay for some of their expenses. More importantly, our kids learned that you receive while giving.

It was an amazing experience for every child and parent to witness the finish. The SB Harbor Patrol showered the kids with spray from their firefighting boat, Sofia and the Hospice mentor/mentees watched while parents cheered every paddler to the beach.

In 2009 we had over 100 children paddle for the Hugs For Cubs program and Wyatt Taylor. Hugs For Cubs supports children with cancer through Bill Pintard's Santa Barbara Foresters baseball team and Wyatt Taylor was fighting Burkitt's Lymphoma with chemotherapy. They paddled 10 miles from Hendry's Beach to Summerland Beach. Again, the SB Harbor Patrol Fire Boat sprayed our paddlers as Wyatt and others got a ride on the amphibious tour bus, the LandShark. They witnessed the paddlers and flotilla pass the harbor on their way to the landing.

In 2010 over 120 Keiki Paddlers covered a 9 mile course in record time. A Junior Advisory Board consisting of Chase and Lindsey McFadden, Tavis Boise, and Tucker Ingalls selected two beneficiaries and The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation. The Keiki Paddlers paddled from Campus Point to Ledbetter Point in 3 hours! They paddled for Sonya Urzua and Edwin Corona to lift their spirits and encourage them to fight their disease.

The Keiki Paddle is growing each year but the message is the same. Our children are learning that we receive when we give and many can unite to help those in need in our community. This is a lesson they can take with them throughout life and as parents, we are proud of what they accomplish every year!

Please show your support of these worthy recipients and our children's efforts by donating to the Keiki Paddle!

The Friendship Paddle

The Friendship Paddle

To organize open ocean paddle events to provide emotional and financial support to Santa Barbara County residents fighting life-threatening illnesses.

Visit them online at: www.thefriendshippaddle.org

 

 

 

Address

The Friendship Paddle
920 Garden St. Suite A
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

E-mail

•  keikipaddle@gmail.com

 

Board of Directors

•  Sean Robertson
•  David Kronen
•  Jay Stryker
•  John McFadden
•  Paul Kuhn
•  Tom Kronen
•  Mike Randolph
•  Steve Campbel
•  Sheldon Pfeifer

Advisory Board

•   John Mosby
•   Mark Ingalls
•   Tad Smyth
•   Steve Berkus
•   Ben Pettit

 

 

Children between the ages of 7 and 16 participate in an open ocean paddle event to provide financial and emotional support to both a child with a life-threatening illness and a non-profit organization that supports children in Santa Barbara County.
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