We are in the thick of it now. The winter has settled in, temperatures are remaining low and the cold has found a home alongside the shortened days. But these times don’t last. Things change. And eventually, the warmth, the sunshine, and the days paddling in the summer will quickly return.
One of our favorite aspects of summer is the Return to Goat Island race the team at Walk on Water hosts every year. Last year was a giant success. We had new paddlers, familiar faces, and a lot of fun as participants made their way through the shorter 6-mile and challenging 17-mile course. We saw an influx of oc-1 and oc-2 participants which were an exciting addition as well as additional paddlers making their way to Snow Hill and our race. Overall, it was an overwhelming success.
And as many of the participants noted, we had a slight change to our name and the collection of registration money. For the 2019 race, we partnered with the team behind an already established race called Paddle Second Chance which was previously held in Delaware. The organization backing Paddle Second Chance, entitled Operation Second Chance, helped raise funds for injured veterans to assist them in paying their medical bills and getting them back to a normal standard of living as they return from combat. We were honored to partner with such an organization and established race- helping with any charity for veterans is not something the team at Walk on Water takes lightly.
But now, we have our sights set on 2020.
In the new year, there will be a slight change once again. We will still be partnering with the people behind Paddle Second Chance, however this time the name of the organization/charity behind the race is now called Warrior Community Connect, or WCC for short. While still maintaining the same mission of helping veterans, this new program has decided to take a fresh approach. According to their mission statement,
“Our goal is to provide sustainable support programs through a community-based approach that enables health, well-being, economic security and quality of life for Wounded Veteran Families. The program addresses the needs of all family members and works closely with the caregiver, most often the veteran’s wife. Caregivers are a vital link between WCC and the families we serve, helping us develop relationships, build trust, and identify critical needs.”
In a more specific manner, the 2020 program will, “Help veterans and their families achieve economic security by providing educational opportunities; college preparation and financial aid; job training; employment and volunteer opportunities; work-related certifications; and workshops on resume writing, interviewing and managing finances. Innovative programs will include an interactive computer-based support program; teen communication and creative arts program; and family art therapy. Health and wellness programs will also be offered.”
As anyone can see, this is an important organization with an undeniably significant cause. And we are beyond proud to be partnering with this organization in 2020 to bring you the best Return to Goat Island to date. And speaking of date, save this one on your racing calendar: June 20, 2020. That is the official Saturday of the race. And alongside the charity, there will also be the already established aspects of the race to look out for: the 6 miles, 17 miles, and of course the kid’s race featuring the Mucho Grande Evolve inflatable boards, which all the young paddlers enjoy immensely. So stay tuned for additional details in regards to the event, the WCC organization, and all that the good times to be had in 2020. We hope you are still paddling through the winter and cannot wait to see all of your smiling faces come summer!