The first “Paddle for a Purpose” at Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey Saturday, October 2nd, was more than a fundraiser, it was a fun raiser.

The event benefited The Santa Monica Bay Sailing Foundation, The Jennifer Diamond Foundation and the Westside Special Olympics.

The three local charities combined talents and produced a successful event, beginning with a continental breakfast and ending with an exciting kayaking relay race and hot dog barbecue.

Kids from the Special Olympics program directed by Sherry Barone at South Coast Corinthian Yacht Club were treated to outrigger canoe rides and Los Angeles County Sheriff boat rides.

Later, several of these special athletes were invited to kayak on two-man kayak relay teams where those rooting on the beach had as much fun as those paddling around the basin.

County lifeguards and firefighters at the County Marina del Rey Fire Station also came out to support the activity with their equipment and ladder truck.

Boy Scouts based in the Marina supplied canoes and kayaks to aid in the onñthe-water event.

The local District 11 of The International Order of the Blue Gavel, a philanthropic organization of past yacht club commodores, helped provide volunteers for the morning.

The top fundraiser was Sherry Barone, who brought in over $800 herself and took away a yellow Cobra kayak provided by Action Water Sports in the Marina.

She is donating this boat to her Special Olympic Athlete program in the Marina.

The event raised more than $3,200 in entry fees.

Planning is already under way for next year’s Paddle for a Purpose. This is the type of activity that unites local county government agencies, charitable groups and the entire community.

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