On June 11, an estimated 100 kayakers, paddleboarders and hardy Mainers in canoes met at the Damariscotta Boat Launch for the first annual “Paddle for a Purpose,” a fundraising event dreamed up by the beautiful humans at Carson Douglas Landscape Architecture, Midcoast Kayak, and Glidden Point Oysters. Adventurers with big hearts donated nearly $20,000 to help kids “Get off the Grid and Into Their Hearts” with Hearty Roots’ esteem-building outdoor adventure program! Paddlers got creative as they turned out to support kids in Lincoln County. Participants from Knickerbocker Group in Boothbay brought their best boat flair, adding team flags to their vessels, others wore matching outfits, and even little surfers got into the spirit of the day, dry-surfing on paddleboards at the after-hour party with music by The Gainers, surrounded by raffle items donated by Midcoast businesses and beyond.
The highlight of all these highlights? Hearty Roots was named the recipient of the Paddle for Purpose fundraiser for future years. “We want to be a part of getting Hearty Roots to where they want to be. Raising money each year to make bigger impacts and help more kids in our community,” said Allyson Blake of Glidden Point Oysters.
“We’re thrilled, obviously!” said Hearty Roots founder, Haley Bezon, “To be honored by the community in this way…well, it’s beyond anything we could have imagined.” Bezon noted how these funds will help deepen the intentionally personalized nature offerings that help kids build resilience and foster mindfulness, and help Hearty Roots reach its dream of having a permanent waterfront home-base for their adventurers. “Hearty Roots needs to plant its roots,” Bezon says, always mindful of ways to deepen kids’ connection to place. What better way to honor this commitment to community and care then the First Annual Paddle for a Purpose, where the Hearty Roots fusion of mindfulness, adventure and grit was on full display.
The event couldn’t have gotten off the ground without the sponsorship of Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, Midcoast Kayak, First National Bank of Damariscotta and Glidden Point Oysters, among so many others. The spirit of our passionate community was on full display with Douglas Gimbel serving as emcee for the outdoor after-party event that drew nearly two hundred guests. Gimbel invited the crowd to contribute funds to support Hearty Roots’ innovative approach to mental health and overall wellness for kids in Midcoast Maine. Said Gimbel about his donation of time and effort: “Our world is presenting greater, unforeseen challenges to our children than ever before. Hearty Roots is addressing many of these issues with a hands-on, no-nonsense approach, right here locally in Lincoln County and they are a huge asset to our community.”
Paddle for a Purpose will return in 2023, and you can discover more about Hearty Roots’ programming, summer offerings or sponsoring a child’s hearty adventure through scholarship by visiting heartyroots.org or contact the director: email@example.com.