Ahoy My Brethren,
I am happy you have come to join me in celebrating a wonderful year with us here at the Sunshine Paddle. We have accomplished so much with the help of so many- really it is staggering when I think about. With people from 18 countries working together, many women and children are much safer.
The start of the year found us working on our goal of practice and pledges for the paddle of 26 miles down the coast of Pasco. My graduation with my Master’s Degree was one of the happiest moments of my life- as a person with Battered Women’s Syndrome I was told this could never happen for me…it was not easy, but got done with a 4.0 GPA. We made an appearance at Gumbo Limbo the sea turtle hospital and the Dolphin Research Center. Spreading love, awareness and learning from the top people in the state.
The 26 mile paddle was amazing. It was deeply spiritual session and nature showed me how wonderful she can be. The manatee, 2 notch, joined me for part of the paddle. Shortly after she left, Fred (the shark who thinks I belong to him) came up and swam with me until I got to Green Key. The weather was all a sailor could want and then some. By Dutchman Key the dolphins caught up with me and we played all the way to the park. I was blessed. With one Kayak we raised $750 in cash and goods, this was split the food bank and the battered women’s shelter and we were even able to get a bonus for some of the workers. I am so thankful.
The summer found us calling for people to post us pic of them cleaning a beach near them. I took 3 different groups to 4 different beaches to clean up and we got over 200 pictures of others cleaning. I was blessed that Cathy has allowed me continue use of Yum Yum and practice helped keep me sane as my doctoral classes required more of my brain. Upon my return from residency, I was faced with Necrotizing Faciitis and red tide- we were terra bound. I learned to play tennis whenever I cannot get to the water to keep my muscles moving.
My health presented real challenges. At times, I got angry knowing the person who created this situation walks without pain and does not have a brainstem issue- as I breathed in that pain and anger, I exhaled and let it go. All my being angry does is create problems for me, this is not an easy concept to learn but necessary to heal.
The holiday challenge was taken on to help 3 families, it seemed simple enough until we realized how many needed help. In total we had 5 toy drops in 3 different countries, several Publix gift certificates and the original 3 families. All of my crew worked hard and was impressive to watch- no one at this charity gets paid, we do it to bring up our community on a local, coastal and global level. With one Kayak we raised over $3900 in cash and goods.
As the year drew to a close, a final gift was made to the shelter- a new cannon scanner. This way it can be used for women to make a cyber-copy of their important papers while they are in shelter, in case they have to move quickly. This is a way to replace them until help can arrive and take just a little bit off the shoulders that carry so much.
We welcome 2015 with open arms. Taxes are almost complete and practice continues. We now have new water video cameras. April 20 will be the Paddle of the Pasco Coast and next month we will be putting out pledge sheets. In March we will have a meeting to discuss the holiday challenge.