The Friendship Paddle

Amaia Laskin · Keiki Paddle 2015

Amaia Laskin


The Keiki Paddle was created in 2008 to give kids the chance to engage in a first-hand experience of helping others and bring support to families in need. It is an open ocean paddle event with over 100 kids from ages 7 through 17 using only the power in their arms to paddle stand-up or prone paddleboards with an offshore escort of support boats. The 8th Annual Keiki Paddle is happy to announce Amaia Laskin and the Make-a-Wish Foundation as the beneficiaries of this year’s paddle. The Keiki Paddle will take place on July 18th, 2015 and will start near UCSB/Goleta Pier and end at East Beach in Santa Barbara, a paddle route of 11 miles. The arrival at East Beach will include a celebration of life and a hot lunch on the beach.

Amaia is a junior at Santa Barbara High School. In August 2014, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphblastic Leukemia (ALL). Due to her medical condition, she has been hospitalized multiple times including nearly a month at a rehabilitation hospital Her active treatment will last through December 2016. In addition to ALL, Amaia was diagnosed at age 12 with Juvenile Arthritis. Active with the Arthritis Foundation, Amaia was the Youth Honoree for the Santa Barbara 2014 Walk for the Cure last April.

Amaia oves to sing and is a member of the Santa Barbara High School Madrigals. She is an outdoor enthusiast and loves the water, whether it is a pool, a pond, a river or the ocean. Amaia knows the importance of helping others, having helped to raise funds for other kids and youth-oriented organizations across the U.S. and in Kenya via a kids-driven activity at the annual Environmental Grantmakers Association Retreat. Over the last 7-8 years a small handful of kids have raised over $10,000.

Amaia has a small group of close friends at school, but has not been able to attend classes all year due to her medical condition.This has been tough on Amaia, but she continues to fight her disease with a positive attitude and good humor. Amaia obviously “gets” what it takes to help others. Now it is time for the Keiki crew to help Amaia

Amaia Laskin
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Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Tri-Counties

The Keiki Paddle’s non-profit partner this year is the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Tri-Counties. Their mission is to grant one special wish to a child with a life threatening medical condition, and thereby enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

The local chapter has served San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties since 1985!

Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Tri-Counties

Previous Paddles

Omar Omar-Ibarra '14                        samuel Samuel Hefland '13                       

Jayson Jayson DiMizio '12                     Ashley Ashley Vasquez-Castro '11

Edwin Edwin & Sonya '10                     Wyatt Taylor Wyatt Tailor '09

Sofia Peña Sofia Peña '08

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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