SANTA ROSA BEACH — The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Florida Panhandle Chapter announces the return of its event, Paddle for Prevention.

The fourth annual event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on June 8 at the Gulf Place beach access in Santa Rosa Beach in an effort raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention. This event is for all levels of experience from first time paddlers to experts. Boards will be provided by YOLO Board and Adventure 30A. Participants are also 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. County Highway 30A, 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 raise funds. Any participant who raises $100 or more will receive a free shirt. The Memorial Rose Petal Ceremony will follow from 10:45-11 a.m. to honor loved ones lost.

“Last year, this event raised over $13,000 and we are looking forward to another record-breaking year of fundraising,” said Jessica Roberts, chapter chair. “It is so motivating to see the community come together to break the stigma around suicide and mental health issues. We all have mental health and it’s just as important as our physical health."

The event will wrap up with the Grande SUP Race. This is an 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 Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar from 12-2 p.m. with a special food and drink menu and live music from Quillespie as well as Ken and Andi Johnson. Raffle prizes from local merchants will be available as well.

Register online today for Paddle for Prevention at AFSP.org/Paddle2019

All funds raised help to continue the AFSP Florida Panhandle Chapter’s mission to provide the community mental health and suicide prevention resources, education, and advocacy.