Maybe next year Mother Nature will be a tad friendlier, which would be the only thing to make the 24 hour paddleboard challenge in Coldstream better than the inaugural one.
Inclement weather did nothing to diminish or dampen the spirits of Team Kalavida, a group of adult and youth standup paddleboard teams who spent Saturday and Sunday on Kal Lake raising money for local families dealing with cancer.
The teams were taking part in the annual Monster and Sea Paddle Challenge, which originated in Seattle with a goal of raising $5,000 to stuff 1K into five envelopes to present to five different families dealing with cancer. The first event raised more than $7,000. Since its inception, Monster and Sea Paddle Challenge has raised $371,000, helping 371 families.
“The weather was cold, windy and wet but ultimately paddling for 12 or 24 hours in the rain doesn’t even compare to what someone in a fight with cancer goes through,” said Team Kalavida spokesperson Lisa Fogle. “It was an honour for everyone involved, paddlers, parents, friends and siblings, to be a part of such a worthy cause.”
This is the first year a team(s) from Vernon took part.
“We have raised more than $5,000 thus far, and are still accepting nominations for local families battling cancer,” said ogle. “Which means at least five local families will receive an envelope with $1,000 cash.”
The adult team, which included world standup paddleboard champ Lina Augaitis of Coldstream, who was also a mentor to the youth team (ages nine-to-13), paddled 24 hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in all kinds of conditions. This was the first year across North America that all-kids teams could take part.
Adult team captain Kerry MacLeod was taking part in her fourth Monster and Sea Challenge.
The youth team was on the lake for 12 hours, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, but got up early Sunday and arrived at Kal Beach to welcome in the last of the adult paddlers as they completed their 24-hours.
“We were told it was a windy night with the tents blowing all over the beach and the paddlers dealing with those conditions,” said Fogle, who had high praise for the North Okanagan community for its support of all participants and volunteers.
“We are thanking the community for stopping by with treats, support, donations, hand warmers, hot water bottles and homemade cupcakes,” said Fogle. “We’re thanking Kalavida Surf Shop for donating boards/paddles/board lights to the participants. The Rail Trail Cafe for providing warm food and shelter.”
The event’s motto is “Do good, have fun, give back,” and uses the hash tag #gobecauseyoucan.
Local organizers are hoping to reach the $7,000 mark by the end of April.
A Gofundme page is open until the end of the month if you’d like to make a donation to the cause.
A meeting will take place at the end of the month where both adult and youth teams will review nominations and decide where to give the money.