Paddle On! Lake Wailes To Benefit StirringWaters Park for Disabled
Event Will Happen May 6 on Lake Wailes
Last updated 4/16/2023 at 10:48am
Finding a way to help persons with limited abilities to enjoy the same life experiences as others is the motivation for organizers of the first-ever Paddle On! Lake Wailes fundraising event
The multifaceted event will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2023, and will offer participants several ways to help raise funds that will benefit the StirringWaters program.
Organizers are inviting churches, clubs, schools, groups and businesses to come alongside a person with disabilities to have fun and foster a more compassionate understanding of one another. Event options include Buddy Paddle Teams going across the lake and back, individual paddlers circumnavigating the lake, and walkers, runners and cyclists using the path along the lake.
"A paddle across Lake Wailes and back is approximately one mile or 500 strokes. Raising just $1 for each paddle stroke can change lives," said StirringWaters founder Bill Redmon.
The event website includes an opportunity for those who want to donate to StirringWaters but are unable to participate in the event. The water event will begin at 9:00 am. on the shores of Lake Wailes. Buddy Paddle Teams will surround a VIP paddler who is living with a disability. Each Voyageur canoe can hold a 10-person fundraising crew as well as accommodate wheelchairs or adaptive seats. These teams will launch at the Lake Wailes Boat Ramp.
Companion buddy paddlers may be family members, church members or others who will raise as much money as possible to cover their fee as well as sponsor the VIP paddler, if that person is unable to do so. The minimum for a buddy paddler and a VIP paddler is $250 per paddler.
Participants will also have opportunities to participate in Poker Fun. To participate in the Poker Paddle! to five stops around the lake, each $10 donation gives the paddler a five-card hand. The paddler with the winning hand will receive $250.
Individual Paddlers will include kayakers, canoers and paddleboarders launching at the Pram Fleet Building on North Lakeshore Boulevard. Individual Paddlers can simply paddle for a preregistration fee of $45. Registered paddling participants will receive a waterproof dry bag compliments of Duke Energy.
"We hope so many paddlers participate that they create a kaleidoscope of color on the lake. Paddle On! Lake Wailes will unite people in an activity they enjoy and help create lifechanging aquatic enjoyment for families living with disabilities in the future," says event organizer Cindy Turner. "Paddle On! is seeking participants, sponsors and volunteers. Please join us. It's going to be a fun day!"
"Not everyone is a water person, so the event also will include fun for walkers, runners and cyclists," Turner said. Participants can simply walk, run or cycle, or also participate in Poker Fun! Events will run from 8:30 until 10:30 am on the Lake Wailes Trail, starting across from Kiwanis Park on North Lakeshore Boulevard. Poker cards can be drawn at five stops along the path. The winning hand drawn will receive $100.
Pre-registration for walkers, runners and cyclists is $15, and each Poker Fun! donation of $10 gives the participant a hand of five cards. Poker participants can make as many donations of $10 as they wish.
StirringWaters is a planned as a fully and intentionally inclusive water playground for those with disabilities, to be located at Lake Aurora just east of Lake Wales. Groundbreaking is expected to occur late this year. Rockin on the River, In Memory of Buddy Eddy is the Paddle On! Platinum Sponsor.
"We can't wait to watch our grandson Dorian paddle across Lake Wailes to raise money during Paddle On!" said Debbie Groover of Lake Wales. "The aquatic playground at StirringWaters will help Dorian and countless others with disabilities feel included and accepted. And, they'll have a safe place to play," Groover added.
Food trucks will be available during this fun for all event.
For more information, to sponsor or volunteer, please go to a gopeacemakers.com or contact event organizer Cindy Turner at (863) 241-9033.
"During Paddle On! everyone can have fun while united in a common goal to support families of those with disabilities at StirringWaters in the future!" Turner added.