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In this issue: upcoming family events, grant information, and more!
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Zoo Walk April 24

August 2016

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Giving Back To Autism Community

Great PV Paddle Benefiting HEAL – Register today

Great Ponte Vedra Paddle - September 5, 2016

Article by Founder Tim Ellis
Originally published on StandUpJournal.com 


Giving Back

Standup Paddlers have it good. Not only do we experience the joy and excitement of an exhilarating sport, but also are constantly exposed and surrounded by the ever changing beauty of nature.

Others are not so fortunate. As an example, families who experience autism face daily challenges, pressures, and tribulations that few of us can truly fathom. With these folks in mind, the Great Ponte Vedra Paddle was born.

Five years ago the Great PV Paddle was the brainchild of Dana Current, a newbie “Standup Paddler” who was on the Board of HEAL. HEAL is a wonderful organization that provides support for families in Northeast Florida that are experiencing autism. To create the event Dana enlisted the aid a group of “Founders” comprised of caring individuals from the community, businesses, as well as stalwarts of our local Standup community.

The Great PV Paddle event was designed with several goals in mind:
  • To create an event that allows SUPers and others in the community to “Give Back” by supporting a great cause… THE HEAL FOUNDATION.
  • Make it fun…yes, having a competitive 5 mile race, but also shorter races, 1 and 3 mile races that allows all ages and skill levels to experience a real paddle…. And we also include an “Anything Goes” division which encourages any paddle craft, floats, costumes and families to paddle together (awards are given for best costumes)
  • Make it exciting, enjoyable and fast paced event. The event is held every Labor Day, starting at 8:00 a.m., with the last race and awards over by noon. It’s a fantastic way for people to have a fun filled morning and still be home for the traditional Labor Day Cookout.
  • Create an event that will expose hundreds of people to the joys of Standup paddle boarding (obviously a great idea).
  • While providing a fun competition, keeping the focus on the “Event,” a fun family oriented gathering that is a joy for everyone to attend. This includes party music, food, prizes, a beachfront vendors tent village, awesome raffle items, incredible participants package and a great cause, HEAL, all creating an incredible experience.
In 2012, word of the Great Ponte Vedra Paddle was spread through normal media outlets, but even more important shared directly to our Northeast Florida SUP community through our wonderfully supportive SUP shops and vendors, our local Standup Paddle Board Facebook pages and an email list of local paddlers developed over the prior five years. A direct appeal was made to our SUP community to “Give Back” and to “Stand Up” for HEAL, a wonderful local cause... And the response was overwhelming. The first Great Ponte Vedra Paddle had over 100 paddlers and raised over $25,000.00.

Since then, the Great PV Paddle has become one of the biggest and most successful paddle boarding events around. In 2015, we had over 50 corporate sponsors, 250 participants, and more than 500 spectators. To date, The Great Ponte Vedra Paddle has raised over $160,000 for HEAL used to provide support for local families who are living with Autism.

2016 will be even bigger! So we invite everyone to “Give Back” and to “Stand Up” for HEAL and to join us this Labor Day at the Great Ponte Vedra Paddle.

For info regarding sponsorship, registration or more about this event, go to www.greatpvpaddle.org

HEAL Summer Camps Impacts Hundreds With Autism

Camp Possible at Henderson Haven
Campers enjoy Camp Possible at Henderson Haven.
Thanks to HEAL, hundreds of children, teens and adults with Autism enjoyed numerous specialized camps throughout the Northeast Florida area this past summer.

Henderson Haven offered a summer day camp “Camp Possible,” HEAL Surf Camp had kids in the water riding the waves, HUG/HEAL Golf Camp at TPC Sawgrass created future PLAYERS Champions, and at DOSA Camp, children, teens and adults stayed overnight throughout the summer, giving parents some much-needed respite. Camp Cummer at the Cummer Museum offered a creative art camp, Haven Horse Ranch continued horse therapy programs all summer long and May Institute offered programs for adults with Autism.

HEAL granted over $50,000 towards summer to programs, therapies, sports leagues and camps in order to provide individuals with Autism an array of opportunities to learn, play, and be creative. HEAL is able to provide these programs thanks to our great donor base and volunteers. 
Surfers giving a high-5 at HEAL Surf Camp
HEAL/HUG Golf Camp at TPC Sawgrass

Apply for Fall HEAL Grants – Deadline October 8

The HEAL Foundation is proud to have donated over $1.5 million dollars in grants to local schools, camps and organizations across the Northeast Florida to help those affected by Autism.
 
This fall, HEAL will be awarding grants of up to $2,500. Priority will be given to schools and teachers, after-school and weekend activities, programs and sports leagues. Deadline is October 8, 2016.
 
To apply for a HEAL grant and see past grants, visit our website.

Upcoming Events in Northeast Florida

 
DATE EVENT
Aug. 13 Sensory Friendly Films: Pete's Dragon - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10:00 AM or 7:00 PM. Click here for more information.
Aug. 20 7th Annual First Coast Beach Festival with Surfers for Autism in Flagler Beach. Register in advance for this family day of fun with a great Florida non-profit. They will be at Flagler Beach Pier from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Visit SurfersforAutism.org for more information or to register in advance.
Aug. 23 Sensory Friendly Films: War Dogs - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10:00 AM or 7:00 PM. Click here for more information.
Sept. 5 The Great Ponte Vedra Paddle Benefiting HEAL at Mickler's Landing. Start your Stand Up Paddleboard training and join us for 3 Paddle races, the new Great Sea and Sand Challenge for kids 12 and under, music, and fun at the beach. Email events@healautismnow.org for information on sponsorships and tents. Register today!
Sep. 24 7th Annual North Coast Beach Festival with Surfers for Autism in Jacksonville Beach. Register in advance for this family day of fun with a great Florida non-profit. They will be in Jax Beach at 1515 First St. N from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Visit SurfersforAutism.org for more information or to register in advance.
Oct. 8 Deadline for fall iHEAL and HEAL Grant applications. Visit our website for information and to download the forms.
Feb. 23 - 24, 2017 The HEAL Valley of Dreams & Charity Golf Classic - You don’t want to miss the 10 year anniversary of the Valley of Dreams, the event that transformed HEAL and Northeast Florida’s Autism Community. Thursday night cocktails and Friday golf at TPC Sawgrass! More information coming soon!
Apr. 30, 2017 HEAL Zoo Walk for Autism 2017 - This annual walk is a great way to see the Zoo, catch up with old friends, and make new ones! Plan to join HEAL and take a “Walk on the Wild Side” at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens! Don’t miss the Afterparty with Patty Crosby, face painting, bouncy houses and more!
Copyright © 2016 HEAL Foundation, All rights reserved.


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