Chris Carragher of Portsmouth, New Hampshire is new to two things: mentoring at his local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters and paddle boarding. He’s wasting no time combining the two into a creative fundaiser.
Before the end of the summer, Chris will paddle board from the coast of Portsmouth to the Isle of Shoals, a round trip of 12 miles. The Isle of Shoals are a group of small islands that straddle New Hampshire and Maine. The largest island, Appledore, is just a half-mile long.
Chris has dubbed his fundraiser Stand Up for Littles. “Littles” are kids from ages 6 to 17 that are in need of mentors. These kids come from single parent and low-income households.
“Portsmouth is known as an exclusive tourist destination and an expensive place to live,” said Stacy Kramer, executive director of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Seacoast. “But it has its share of poverty, crime and drug addiction.”
“Supporters like Chris, and his wife, Diane, are guiding these kids through choppy waters,” said Kramer.
Most visitors to the islands embark on the Thomas Laighton, the 90-foot ship that services the islands. Chris’ vessel will be a paddle board he’s been training on since June. He’s been paddling in and around the shoals to get ready for the trek.
Chris is taking safety seriously. The shoals are the site of at least one shipwreck – the Spanish ship Sagunto in 1813 – and he doesn’t want to be the second. He’ll choose a date for his paddle-for-a-cause based on weather conditions, not because it’s a Saturday. Chris will also wear a life vest and a support boat will follow him.
You can follow Chris’ efforts and learn how to donate at his Facebook page. You can also check out some great pictures of the shoals and Chris paddle boarding in the Atlantic.
Good luck, Chris!