Tom Sabotta & Sherri Evans, coordinators of volunteers for the annual Vets Paddle at Riverside, report that the signup indicates the event will be busiest at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm, with 17 and 25 Vets, respectively. They are hoping to muster 35 volunteers to provide a safe and positive experience for these deserving men and women.
The event will run from 8:00 am-3:00 pm, but volunteers should arrive a half hour early to unload gear and clear the shuttle bus turnaround. Sessions are scheduled for 8:00 am, 10:00 am, & 1:00 pm.
The Vets Paddle is held at the sand pit pond across Hwy 22 from Riverside Casino, Riverside, IA, a mile East of Hwy 27/218. Volunteers will be provided with a box lunch and T-shirt.
Tom & Sherri encourage all past, new, and potential volunteers to contact them to confirm their participation, and the number and types of boats they will be bringing.
Contact Tom at: firstname.lastname@example.org , and Sherri at email@example.com
Background: While the “TEE Tournament” began as a golf tournament for disabled Veterans, TEE actually stands for “Training Exposure Experience.” The Vets Paddle is an “alternative activity,” (others include bowling, horseback riding, and fishing) to expand the variety of experiences offered to the participating Veterans. The VA introduced paddling in 2009, with equipment contracted from out of state. Beginning in 2010, the event became a totally volunteer effort, combining the resources of Seatasea Watersports and members of the Saukenuk and Sticks In the Water paddler groups. Volunteers are now comprised of paddlers from many parts of Iowa, linked via email, recruiting friends to maintain the “pool” of people, kayaks, and canoes. The wider, recreational class kayaks are most appropriate for the Vets, some of whom have issues with mobility and balance.