One of the great aspects of our sport is how the community comes together to give back. Striving to make a positive impact on the world by utilizing SUP, the 2013 SUP Awards Top Philanthropic Effort nominees raise funds and spread awareness for myriad organizations and causes. Tyler’s Dam That Cancer, Paddle with Purpose, SUP 4 Cancer and Standup For The Cure, all provide unique events for cancer survivors, fighters and others affected by the disease, while also raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer research and prevention. Paddle for Humanity and NEXT National SUP Day bring the paddling community together with events nationwide, while SEA Paddle NYC focuses on supporting autism and the environment. Take a look at the nominees for the 2013 SUP Awards Top Philanthropic Effort and stay tuned to SUPtheMag.com for full SUP Awards coverage and results.
Tyler's Dam That Cancer
"We started with the Dam to Dam paddle as a stunt to spread the message about the mental health side for cancer survivors and their families. People got behind us and really supported us after the paddle, and then I started the Flatwater Foundation, a nonprofit that has partnered with LiveSTRONG Navigation Center, US Oncology, and a network of 16 counselors who are available for free to survivors and families needing mental health therapy. At Dam That Cancer we eliminate the competitive side of paddling events and take on the 'united we stand' approach, paddling and then bunching up to paddle together. Dam That Cancer isn't a race- it's a journey."
Paddle for Humanity
"While competition is big in our sport, it also alienates the majority of people. Our main goal is bringing the SUP and paddling community together while still giving back to charities. Participants get to choose one of our charities $10 from their entry fee goes to, and net proceeds from the entire series are also divided between the various charities, so each participant at our events really make a difference.
This year we broke new ground with an event in Minnesota, and there's still so much potential for growth in the paddling community. We support the everyday paddler and just want to get people together on the water."
NEXT National SUP Day
“We have a couple primary focuses on National SUP Day, with the first focus on celebrating standup paddling and getting people on the water whether they’ve paddled before or not. The second focus is to bring kids and families struggling with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) to the water for a day of fun with paddle clinics and other activities. We hold eight events nationwide and team up with local CF chapters, as well as competing retailers and SUP companies, who come together to supply boards for the participants and stand shoulder-to-shoulder to celebrate the sport.”
Paddle with Purpose
"Our goal is always to make a difference in people's lives, offering events and outreach programs with SUP days for cancer survivors and their families. This year was mellow for PWP, but we raised close to $15k with the Adler Paddle and had over 300 participants, the biggest showing yet. Our events are always free and benefit multiple charities like the John Ritter Foundation, with legends like Mickey Munoz and Jericho Poppler in attendance to paddle with our participants.
Everyone nominated was moved to make a difference-- and it's been a gift to go along with it. You do a non-profit to make a difference in one person's life or more, and all the hard work is worth it."
SEA Paddle NYC
"SEA Paddle NYC supports multiple autism charities and works to spread information about the environment, as well as helping support the Hurricane Sandy Relief effort this year. Our Beach Bash is the largest event supporting autism in the state [of New York] and we also work on water quality, water access, and beach re-nourishment.
Surfing has a great impact on autistic children; there's a deep connection between the two and when you see the looks on the parents' faces, they're dumbfounded. We'll continue to facilitate events and give autistic kids more opportunities to get on the water."
SUP 4 Cancer
"Rather than just a single event, we hold multiple camps throughout the year for cancer fighters and survivors, some of which have never been in the ocean. We take groups to Oregon and Hawaii to educate them about the ocean as well as learn to SUP and/or surf, with top paddlers like Kai Lenny participating as instructors. The week is life changing for the survivors and fighters, and they're transformed after spending time in and on the water.
Standup For The Cure
"Our event is one of the few that brings in new paddlers and millions of eyeballs to the sport, while also providing a fun day for breast cancer fighters, survivors and others affected by the disease. We're a transparent organization- you can see exactly where our funds go- and 100 percent benefits Susan G. Komen. The whole goal behind Standup For The Cure is to grow the sport and raise as much money possible to save lives."