Three Rotarians hit the surf in September to participate in the fourth annual Great Ponte Vedra Paddle, held on Labor Day at Mickler’s Landing in Ponte Vedra Beach. Enora Rogers, recent recipient of the Ponte Vedra Beach Rotary Club’s Rotarian of the Year award, along with Rotarian Adam Petrus joined club president Will Montoya and his family to compete at the day’s events.
Members of the Beaches Rotaract Club, a Rotary-sponsored club for young professionals, also attended the event to provide volunteer support.
This year’s race drew hundreds of participants, spectators and supporters, and raised over $40,000 that will go towards Autism ESE classrooms, iPads, programs, camps and seminars across Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.
The event is organized each year by the locally-based HEAL Foundation.
“It’s an accumulation of friends and community where we can get out there and enjoy the ocean,” Montoya said. “This year we got our Rotarians involved, as well as Rotaract.”
Rogers, Montoya and Petrus joined a pool of 200 paddlers who competed in a variety of events. Rogers, placed first in her division for the one-mile “fun race” riding her SUP. Montoya also won his division on a SUP for the three-mile open race.
Montoya & Associates was one of the founding organizations and has supported the race since its inception.
“It’s been a spectacular event,” Montoya said. “It’s now grown to become the second largest paddle board event in Florida.”
The HEAL Foundation is a local non-profit organization in Northeast Florida. HEAL serves individuals and families living with Autism Spectrum Disorders. For more information, visit www.healautismnow.org.
The Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach is a local service club that meets weekly in Ponte Vedra. The mission of Rotary is to provide service to others, promote integrity and advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through its fellowship of business, professional and community leaders. Visit www.pvbrotary.org for more.