The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Florida Panhandle Chapter announces the return of its event, Paddle for Prevention. The third annual event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 9 at the Gulf Place Beach Access in Santa Rosa Beach in an effort to expose the community to paddle boarding and introduce the healing and therapeutic benefits of the water. This event is for all levels of experience from first time paddlers to experts. Boards will be provided by YOLO Board and participants are welcome to bring their own boards as well to enjoy a day of fun on the water.

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and the Opening Ceremony will start at 9 a.m. The beach access is located at 4451 W Co Hwy 30 A, just west of Ed Walline Beach Access at the intersection of Hwy 393 and 30A.

The Open Paddle portion of the event will run from 9:15-10:45 a.m. Registration for the Open Paddle is $20 and participants are encouraged to fundraise. Any participant who raises $100 or more will receive a free shirt. Participants that are new to paddle boarding can work with the YOLO team to learn the basics and enjoy a peaceful paddle to raise awareness and connect with others. The Honor Ceremony will follow at 10:45 a.m.

“This is a day to honor loved ones lost, seek strength for your own journey, or to encourage someone in your life that may be struggling with mental illness to use the Gulf as a way of healing,” says Amanda Abbott, Paddle for Prevention chair. “All funds raised help to continue our Chapter’s mission to provide the community with mental health and suicide prevention resources, education, and advocacy.”

The event will wrap up with the Grande SUP Race, a great opportunity for local businesses to sign up as a team and represent their company on the water. All six team members will be on one large oversized inflatable board for a fun interactive race. Team registration is $300, each team member will receive a shirt, and the winning team receives a grand prize package.

The After Party will be hosted at La Playa from 12-2 p.m. across the street at 37 Town Center Loop with a special food and drink menu and live music. Raffle prizes from local merchants will be available as well.

Register online for Paddle for Prevention at AFSP.org/Paddle2018