Paddle With Purpose
All eligible voters are automatically entered to win one of three prize packages.
Voting closes July 20, 2016 at 11:59 PM PST.
Prize Pack #1: MTI life jacket of winner’s choice + NRS Wedge Rescue Throw Bag
Prize Pack #2: MTI life jacket of winner’s choice, NRS Wedge Rescue Throw Bag + GoPro Hero 4 Silver
Prize Pack #3: MTI life jacket of winner’s choice + Level Six Chochee 2.0 Short Sleeve Dry Top
The Cause: Canoeing the Mississippi to raise money for breast cancer research.
The Instigators: Matt Burdine
The Method: After losing his mother, grandmother and many friends to breast cancer, Matt Burdine sought the magic of the Mississippi on a 2,300-mile fundraising journey last fall.
The Cause: Time on the water enhances the lives of families touched by autism.
The Instigator: Jim Coffey, Barbara Hinojosa, Taïgan Coffey Hinojosa
The Method: Veteran whitewater canoeist Jim Coffey and other whitewater legends share their love of paddling and the inspiration of wild rivers by introducing kids and parents to moving water.
More on Whitewater Healing
The Cause: Epic outdoor education for Alaskan youth.
The Instigator: N/A
The Method: Sixty-four-day outdoor programs for youth ages 12 to 18 focus on paddling expeditions in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest and the Stikine River.
The Cause: Healing and building personal strength in the peace of wilderness waters.
The Instigator: NA
The Method: Veterans focus on trust, camaraderie and shared experiences in paddling through some of America’s most iconic wilderness areas, including the Boundary Waters, the Everglades and the Maine Woods.
The Cause: Cleaning up rivers one paddle stroke at a time. The Instigator: NA
The Method: This Pittsburgh-based non-profit focuses on watershed restoration and outdoor education—primarily from the seat of a kayak.
The Cause: Paddling program takes inner city kids to the water. The Instigator: Jessie Stone
The Method: Each summer, malaria-fighting doctor and whitewater kayaker Jessie Stone shares the joy of paddling with underprivileged youth in the Big Apple.
The Cause: Missouri-Mississippi source to sea encourages children to learn more about America’s greatest river system.
The Instigator: Nia Thomas, Sara Dykman, Aaron Viducich and Matt Titre
The Method: For six months last year, long-distance cyclists and first-time canoeists Nia Thomas and Sara Dykman teamed up with friends Aaron Viducich and Matt Titre to complete a 13-state, 3,500-mile journey on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
Heroes on the Water
The Cause: Healing wounded spirits through kayak fishing
The Instigators:Jim Dolan
The Method: Heroes on the Water serves all military personnel who have been wounded, injured or disabled. What looks like a day trip of paddling and fishing for wounded vets is something much deeper. Being on the water gives soldiers a feeling of peace and freedom from their wounds-an experience that "coalesces into personal revelations that while the wounds may have closed one door, there are other doors to explore." HOW facilitates that healing by bringing wounded veterans together with experienced anglers in 35 chapters around the country.
The Cause: Whitewater paddling and other outdoor sports for young adults with cancer
The Instigators: Brad Ludden
The Method: First Descents introduces cancer-fighters to outdoor challenges, empowering them to paddle, climb and surf beyond their diagnosis, reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same. The experience offers them the opportunity to regain confidence and self-reliance often lost to cancer and allows healing to happen naturally and organically-without forced conversations, structured group sessions or therapy. The program is free, including travel scholarships when needed.
Team River Runner
The Cause: Kayaking as therapy for wounded warriors and their families
The Instigators: Joe Mornini and Mike McCormick
The Method: Give active duty service members and veterans the chance to find healing and discover new challenges through whitewater. Military members wounded in battle often endure months of surgeries, physical and readjustment therapies and intense life changes. During these difficult times, many seek new challenges to break their daily treatment routine. Established in 2004 in Washington D.C., TRR offers wounded veterans a chance to improve their health, happiness and connection to nature. TRR works in partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project and Disabled Sports, USA.
Nepal Kayak Club
The Cause: Helping rebuild Nepal after the catastrophic earthquakes of 2015
The Instigators: he Nepal Kayak Club
The Method: After the first of two major earthquakes struck Nepal, killing thousands, the Nepal Kayak Club quickly assembled a team of international search and rescue personnel, medics and Nepali river and mountain guides to help bring shelter, food, medical supplies and support to areas that no one else was able reach. Their efforts have likely saved hundreds if not thousands of lives.
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