The SoCal Paddle Down Hits California Shores
Lifeguards from 25+ agencies joined together to complete a 250-mile ocean paddle. The PaddleDown began in the middle of June at Imperial Beach, and the relay has been making its way up the California coast since then. This Friday, August 23, the relay will hit Arroyo Burro. From there, lifeguards from Santa Barbera will join the crew. The relay will continue until the finale at El Refugio State Beach in Gaviota during Labor Day weekend.
The SoCal PaddleDown is a cancer relay; it promotes sun safety and skin cancer awareness. Lifeguards from all over the state join together to paddle a stretch up the California coast. The lifeguards take turns paddling a 10-foot prone paddleboard, turning it over to the next team once their stretch is over. The main goal of the relay is to raise money for a skin care education program, “Block the Blaze.” The program was founded by John Wayne Cancer Foundation, and it aims to raise awareness about skin cancer and the importance of keeping safe while in the sun.
In California alone, 1 out of every 3 residents is projected to develop skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. Many people mistake skin cancer for being a calm, easily treatable cancer, but it has the potential to be life-threatening. It’s important that regular beachgoers, lifeguards, and surfers are educated about the sun and its harmful effects.
Thanks to the SoCal PaddleDown, more and more people are being educated on sun safety. It’s a fun activity for lifeguards to do and a great way to expand awareness about the cause. If you’re in California, stop by for the events! If not, you’re always encouraged to read up on the cause or show your support by donating.
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