Paddle for Hunger Raises $4,300 for Maui Food Bank
A total of 187 people participated in a Thanksgiving morning paddle to raise an estimated $4,300 in cash and a pickup truck full of food for the Maui Food Bank.
The Paddle for Hunger non-competitive race, organized by Hawaiian Paddle Sports, ran from 7 to 10 a.m. at the Kīhei Canoe Club in South Maui. The fundraiser was part of the Hawaiian Paddle Sports‘ monthly giving back program in which the company shuts down for a day each month to perform a service project for a local nonprofit.
The event is known today as “Paddle for Hunger,” but was originally an OC1 time trial for Mālama Ula Canoe Club (Wailea Cnaoe Club) in 2000. Event organizers say that over the years, paddlers from other clubs joined in, and the race grew to include other divisions.
In 2002 paddlers brought canned food donations for the Maui Food Bank, and the Turkey Trot event was formed. The event continued to grown, and in 2007 it officially became a fundraiser for the Maui Food Bank.
Organizers say prior to today’s efforts, the event had raised more than $6,000 in cash donations since 2009. From 2012-2014, it reportedly brought in 2,412 pounds of food.
The event was organized in past years by volunteers with the Maui Paddling Hui (formerly the Maui Canoe and Kayak Club). Organizers note that in most years it was a “non-event” group of friends paddling together due to the fact that there was no permit or insurance.
Since 2012 Hawaiian Paddle Sports has used Paddle for Hunger to support the Maui Food Bank as part of its monthly giving back program.
Timothy S. Lara of Hawaiian Paddle Sports LLC said, “In 2015 we stepped up to organize the event, securing water safety, permits, insurance and door prizes.”
The event is described today as a “for-fun, anything that floats, jungle rules race,” where everyone is a winner, including the Maui Food Bank.
Event sponsors this year included: Hawaiian Paddle Sports, Ozone, Outrigger Pizza Co, Maui Sunseeker, Marriott Resort Wailea Beach, Grand Wailea, All Island Printworks and Design, Maui Wave Riders, Maui Stand up Paddleboarding, Nalu’s South Shore Grill, Maui Kayak Adventures, Vertra, Liquid Media, Afterglow Yoga, Dukes Beach House, Hawaiian Island Surf and Sport, Makena Beach & Golf Resort, Fairmont Kealani, Tri Paddle Maui.