The 7th Annual Paddle Second Chance (PSC) event will take place Saturday, June 23, at Holt’s Landing State Park near Millville.
Over the past six years, the PSC has raised more than $140,000 with its paddleboarding event for Operation Second Chance (OSC), which is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving wounded veterans and their families as they recover and transition back to active duty or civilian life. There are more than 39 families and 66 children that have been part of OSC in the area.
The races will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, with an awards ceremony and community picnic taking place afterwards. In the event there is inclement weather or water conditions are deemed unsafe, the event will take place the following day, on Sunday, June 24.
There are three levels for racers to compete in, with more than $5,000 in cash and gifts being awarded to the top three performing athletes in each division and board class. The three divisions include the Elite (5.0 miles), Open (2.5 miles) and Sprint (1.0 miles). Racers will be able to compete using SUP, surf-ski, or kayak. Each division and board class must have at least five registered participants to qualify for awards.
Anyone wishing to register on the day of the event may do so for $70. The top racer and group that raise the most funds will receive a special award.
OSC Honorary Chairperson Harry Bologna will be participating in the race with his daughter. Bologna is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL with more than 22 years of special-operations experience. While serving, Bologna was stationed in South and Central America, Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. His tours in the Middle East covered both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
During his time on active duty, he was awarded several distinguished honors, including a Bronze Star with Valor, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals.
“We are honored to have such a decorated war hero on our team, and we’re well on our way to topping last year’s record of 150 paddlers to reach this year’s $50,000 fundraising goal.” OSC Delmar Chairperson Walt Ellenberger stated. “We encourage you to get on board for a cause that truly impacts the lives of our wounded warriors and their families.”
For sponsorship information and paddler registration, visit www.operationsecondchance.org/psc.php. Follow Coastal Point sports on social media with #PSC2018 via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates.
By Jason Feather