Rotary Beach in Kelowna was the site of the first ever Pihl Law Paddle for Prevention on the weekend, an inaugural fundraiser held by BrainTrust Canada that took on special meaning for two teams entered from the Kelowna Capital News.
The fundraiser, which was held on Sunday, had a goal of raising $50,000 to be used to help prevent brain injuries and raise awareness. Magda Kapp, Director of Communications for BrainTrust Canada, said the results from the first-time event exceeded their expectations.
“We were just so pleased with how the community rallied around this event, both in terms of corporate sponsorship and participation,” she explained. “We had 155 (participants) registered, but we had a few people stop in, so we probably had in excess of 160 paddlers.”
Kapp noted corporate sponsorship was key in raising over $40,000 for the cause as groups such as the Capital News team, which raised $2,500, helped bring in larger sums of money than they likely would have achieved on their own.
The Capital News entered two teams at the event and were raising money for one of its co-workers who suffered a brain injury prior to the race as well as in support of sponsor Auction World, a local company whose owners son has also suffered from the effects of a brain injury.
“When our co-worker Janice was struck by a jeep, this event took on extra importance for all of us,” said Capital News advertising rep Rob Lindsay, who organized the teams. “I was really proud of our employees who stepped up and raised a lot of money for this important cause. I would also like to thank Abe and Gail Kroeker at Auction World for donating $1,000 for our team.”
During the event, corporate teams raced in four-person relay teams throughout the morning at Rotary Beach in an elimination style event that was all about raising money but also getting introduced to the relatively new sport of paddle boarding.
Kapp said the fundraiser was designed to be family-friendly with multiple tents and displays set up and even had a barbecue for participants and everyone else. And of course, there was the paddle boarding.
“You could compete either as an individual or as a team of four,” Kapp described. “They did relays, so basically they went around a buoy and back to the shore, where another person would take over unless they were competing as an individual. So it was a race, but it was a fun race. And it was 30 degrees, so people didn’t mind getting wet.”
The fundraiser’s website, paddleforprevention.com, will remain open until the end of the month for additional donations. With the success seen by the Pihl Law Paddle for Prevention in its inaugural year, Kapp believes there is a very strong chance it will return again next year.
As far as the Capital News Cruisers go, they made it to the quarter-final race before falling in the tough corporate division although the Cruisers were the top finishing media team.