For Paddle4Tomorrow it all started by simply pal-ing up with some kids. P4T is the charity started by Georgia Kayak Fishing with a mission to get people out on the water and to know and care for their watershed.
Tony Narcisse had started Atlanta Kayak Fishing in his metro Atlanta home town of John's Creek. The Police Athletic League next door in Alpharetta asked Tony if he could help get some of their kids out on the water. To use a tired old phrase, 'the rest is history'. The growth has been significant. AKF became GKF, volunteers continued to come out for charity events with Heroes On the Water, Special Olympics, the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Benning, and various sight impaired teams and organizations. P4T was created and there was no slowing down.
On July 20th, the men and women - and kids - of P4T went back to their roots and hosted a Youth Field Day with Alpharetta PAL at Mary Alice Park on Lake Lanier in Cumming, Georgia. Yes, I know, another tired old phrase - 'a good time was had by all.' Everyone paddled, many splashed on the beach, fish were caught, and a quick Leave No Trace segment was presented. And we ate !! The fellowship was well worth the effort and some of what we presented, whether safety on the water, or care for the watershed, or leaving a place cleaner than you found it, will stick with these young people. We
also introduced them to our Mobile Recycling Center .. a kayak trailer with bins for recycling glass, plastic, aluminum and even compost. The aluminum gathered on this trailer helps fund P4T activities.
Two specific thoughts to leave you with. First, the men and women of GKF/P4T are a great resource for any club or charity wanting to blend paddlesports and service. Second, be careful :) As you know if you have ever coached a team, led a scout troup, or engaged with a youth group ... it is hard to say 'no' when the ball gets rolling and there are only 52 weekends in any given year.