The Friendship Paddle

Jessica Blanco · Keiki Paddle 2016

Jessica Blanco

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 18 using only the power in their arms to paddle stand-up or prone paddleboards with an offshore escort of support boats. The 9th Annual Keiki Paddle is happy to announce Jessica Blanco and the Santa Barbara Foresters Hugs for Cubs program as the beneficiaries of this year’s paddle. The Keiki Paddle will take place on July 23rd, 2016 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.

Jessica is a senior at Dos Pueblos High School and will be walking at her graduation on June 8th! She is 17 years old and the eldest of three siblings (brother 16, sister 9). She likes to spend her time at the beach with her friends, and is planning on attending SBCC in the fall.

Jessica recently finished 31 days of radiation with the hopes of annihilating her brain tumor. Her family recently provided her with the nickname "Jessica Strong". Now it is time for the Keiki crew to help Jessica.

The mission of the Keiki Paddle is to bring emotional and financial support to a child in a life-threatening situation and contribute to a separate non-profit organization. The 2016 Keiki Paddle will raise funds for Jessica Blanco and the Hug for Cubs program.

Join Us!! If you are between the ages of 7 and 18, are a good swimmer, are able to commit to raising funds for Jessica and Hugs for Cubs, and you want to paddle or you just want more information on the Keiki Paddle please visit

Jessica Blanco
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Hugs for Cubs

Santa Barbara Foresters - Hugs For Cubs

The Foresters' ongoing "buddy" program for children battling cancer: To create memories for, and give strength to, kids battling something much tougher than a nasty curveball. Each summer, Foresters players develop one-on-one friendships with local kids facing the toughest challenge of their young lives.

Previous Paddles

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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