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Sanibel Sea School seeking crowd funding to add paddle boards to arsenal of fun

By Staff | Apr 23, 2015

(Photo by BRIAN WIERIMA) PaddleBoard: Kristen Potter (kneeling), Leah Biery and Alex Hurd stand next to the Sea School's lone paddle board, but they are trying to change that by helping raise funds for 20 new paddle boards through Crowd Funding, which can be found at  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/stand-up-for-the-ocean

Once a youth is introduced to the Sanibel Sea School and the fun it offers, they are hooked for a long time.

That notion is apparent with the Sea School’s effort in upgrading their paddle board arsenal from one to 20, but some help will be needed by the Sanibel community and Sea School enthusiasts.

“In the past few years, we have had a lot of young kids who started out with us and are now in high school,” said Sea School Director of Operations Leah Biery. “We do have surfboards, but they are too small for our high school kids. A paddle board offers more adventure, too, because we can take them into more places than a surfboard can.”

So the effort was started to raise funds to buy 20 paddle boards, with a paddle and life jacket, at the cost of $500 per set, which is about 50-percent off of normal pricing.

Biery and her Sea School cohorts are using social media and the cyberworld to do so, by starting a crowd funding effort for people to donate towards the goal, which started April 1 and will run through May 1.

The 20 paddle boards will benefit the underprivileged “landlocked” kids. The extra paddle boards will enable Sea Schools counselors and staff to go on marine adventures with high school students from the Pine Manor Improvement Association and the PACE Center for Girls.

The reason for the paddle boards is stated on the Indiegogo site which is helping raise the funds entitled, “Stand Up for the Ocean” and can be found at www.indiegogo.com/projects/stand-up-for-the-ocean.

“These kids live about 10 miles away, but hardly ever see the ocean, so we pick them up in our bus every few weeks and drive them to Sanibel, where we have tons of fun in the water. We can’t wait to show them more of Sanibel’s hidden treasures and see the smiles on their faces when they can finally stand up on a board for more than a few seconds without losing their balance.”

Interested parties can go to www.indiegogo.com/projects/stand-up-for-the-ocean to donate and help raise the $10,000. The Sea School has a potential matching grant if they can raise their portion of the monies.

“We have had a lot of Sanibel Sea School families who have stepped in and donated, as well as members of the community,” Biery said. “We ask if you can’t donate, please share (the effort) on your pages.”

Biery has been soliciting quotes from different paddle boarding companies for the best offer and the “most sturdy board we can find.”

But the march continues towards the Sea School’s mark of $10,000 and you can be a big help in pushing the final momentum push to that goal.