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Keats Island Paddlers Challenge to benefit food banks

Keats Island Paddlers Challenge to benefit food banks

“This is a ‘fun paddle’ with a very serious goal.”

Avid kayakers, canoeists, outriggers and paddle board enthusiasts are signing on for the inaugural Keats Island Paddlers Challenge on Saturday, October 5 starting at 1:00 p.m. The event, organized by Sunshine Kayaking of Gibson’s Landing is a fundraiser for the community’s four food banks. Organizers Loretta Corbeil and Greg Suidy (co-owners of Sunshine Kayaking) emphasized that this event is not a race.  “This is a ‘fun paddle’ with a very serious goal,” said Corbeil. “This is the paddling community reaching out to support those in need in our larger community.”

All paddlers will launch and meet at the breakwater in Gibsons Harbour, paddle to and then circumnavigate Keats Island, returning to the Gibsons breakwater via Shoal Channel.

Fee to participate is $10 per person, with participants encouraged to raise additional pledged donations for their completion of the challenge. A prize will be awarded to the paddler with the most pledged dollars. Participants (and pledge donors) may stipulate to which of the four food banks their funds should be sent. Paddlers from Madeira Park or Halfmoon Bay may wish their donations to benefit the Pender Harbour Food Bank, for example, while Gibsons-area paddlers may wish to support the fledgling food bank operated by St. Bartholomew’s Church.

Register to paddle as an Individual, Family, Group or Business by calling Sunshine Kayaking at 604-886-9760 or email

Although a recent drive netted thousands of kilos of non-perishable items for area food banks, the community need is so great that this supply can be depleted in just a matter of weeks. “The face of hunger will surprise you,” says SCCSS Community Connections Program Manager Kelly Foley. “We see seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, adults with jobs, and youth.  Some of our clients are homeless, living in tents, or couch surfing.”

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