Paddlers take to the water for 24 hours to raise money for families impacted by cancer

Folks in kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards will be out on the Hillsborough River for 24-hours straight this weekend.  It is a charity event to raise money for local families dealing with cancer.

The relay-style paddle starts at 8 a.m. on May 15 and at least one person will be on the water until 8 a.m. Sunday.

Paddleboarding shop Urban Kai is behind this act of kindness.  It is the second time the owners are organizing a group to take part in the Monster & Sea 24 Hour Paddle for Cancer.

"We have hour increments and each hour a different group of people, you can just hop put there on a board, kayak, any watercraft, you can go at 5 a.m., 2 a.m. or right in the middle of the day," explained Urban Kai employee Bella Rijos.

She will also be out on the water taking part, giving back one paddle at a time.

READ Kayak company connects paddlers with Tampa Bay ecosystem

"I’ve been paddling since I was little, it’s my favorite sport," Rijos said.

She joins about 30 others who already signed up for a time slot.

"It’s to raise money for families with cancer," said Rijos.

Cancer is a taker, stealing people’s health and their loved ones.

To help deal with the devastation of the disease, Urban Kai has connected with three local families fighting through a brain cancer diagnosis.  They plan to give each one an envelope filled with $1,000 cash once the 24-hours is complete.

"Some of the families are coming out just to watch maybe even participate, and I think it’ll make them feel very grateful to have this community around them and glad to be a part of that community," Rijos said.

Click here for more information.


Download our free news app

Sign up for our daily newsletter