by Grant Cooper
As humans, we are social creatures, and we thrive in communities. Our sense of belonging and connection to others plays a crucial role in our overall well-being. In modern times, the definition of community has expanded to include not just physical neighborhoods, but also the coming together of people based on shared interests, values, and goals.
One of the fundamental values of a community is the desire to help others in need. This innate human instinct can be traced back to our evolutionary history, where cooperation and mutual aid were necessary for survival. Today, this instinct manifests in various forms, but visibly in acts of kindness and generosity throughout our paddle community.
Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Southern Utah and participate in the Dig Paddlesports "Paddle Poker" community event.
Each year Bill and Michelle Ennis, Owner / Operators of Dig Paddlesports in Hurricane, Utah, organize and run this event, which is a fun paddle around Quail Creek Lake to card stations, some of which are floating and some on shore, where you pick up a playing card to complete your hand. Each hand gets a donated spot prize based on make up of the hand, ie a pair, 2 pairs, Flush etc.
So a lot of fun for the paddlers of all skills and craft, in typically beautiful Southern Utah weather.
You can see some images from the 2023 Paddle Poker here :- https://www.instagram.com/reel/CrL-TvqMxuI
What makes this event special however, is this year, as in previous years, ALL monies raised (entries and silent auctions) was donated to a local family in need.
This year all proceeds benefited a local family battling cancer. The recipient was Andon Mitchell from St George, Utah.
Family members were also out at the event, and some even paddled.
So like many others in our wonderful paddling community, Bill and Michelle are taking their passion for paddling, rallying the community around this event and donating to a worthy cause in service of others.
The event was a success, and it not only raised much-needed funds to help Andon and his family, but also served as a reminder of the importance of community and our human desire to help others in need.
If you would like to join a local community to make a positive impact, reach out to your local paddling communities at USA SUP. Here you will find resources to get you started.
Or if you know of existing members, selflessly helping others in need through their passion for SUP, drop us a note at email@example.com and let us know so we can give them a shout out.