Do you think GOALS is the Paddle with Purpose?

By Eugene Buchanan

Just because your local lake is an ice rink doesn't mean you can't help someone else hop in a raft or canoe.

Now entering its fifth year of providing river trips for kids, and expanding to work with new schools on new rivers, Denver, Colo.'s Get Outside And Learn Something  (GOALS) organization is kicking off 2014 with its largest fundraiser yet, a Vertical Challenge Ski-a-thon helping kids get on the water thanks to your time on the slopes.

"This year's a tipping point for us," says GOALS Executive Director Brett Hochmuth. "We'll be working tirelessly to make sure that more people in more places across the country know about the work we do, and that more funds raised will enable us to keep adding more groups and offering more support to each kid who needs it."

Until this year, only local supporters who ski in the event have been able create fundraising pages and collect donations for GOALS. This year, out-of-town supporters can create their own fundraising pages. "This new “out-of-towner” class has huge potential to completely change this year’s Vertical Challenge fundraiser," Hochmuth says. "But it will only work if people who believe in GOALS take advantage of the opportunity and hop on board. I’m asking all paddlers to help lead the way."

Hochmuth adds that out-of-town supporters who participate will accomplish three things: 1) they’ll spread the word about GOALS; 2) they’ll increase the amount raised so more kids can get out on the  water; and 3) they’ll give selected “substitute skiers" (i.e. a kid who has been through a GOALS program) the chance to give back to GOALS by volunteering to also ski 10,000 vertical feet on the day of the event.

Hochmuth has made it as simple as possible for people to create their own fundraising page via a template they can copy and paste.

The fundraiser takes place April 5.

Get Outside And Learn Something