Big Kahuna Paddle Challenge   

When: 9:00 a.m. on the 4th Saturday of October.

Where: Lake Wailes Boat Ramp, Lake Wales, FL

Why: To provide Boy's and Girls' Camp for over 120 very deserving 4th and 5th grade boys & girls from the Lake Wales community. The children were chosen by their teachers because of their good behavior and deserving efforts in school.

Provided by: Lake Wales Breakfast Rotary Club through the Lake Wales Breakfast Rotary Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization

Goal: 20 teams

Eligibility: Teams must have 10-14 paddlers to be eligible for awards

Bonus Features: Lunch is included for each team. Enter a race and exit a team..

Entry Fee: $650 per team

Sponsorship Opportunities: $100 ' Sign on leader board, at life jackets, or paddles. $250 ' 1st, 2nd or 3rd place trophy sponsor. $500 ' Race course A or B sponsor; Food tent sponsor; or Check in tent sponsor, Big Kahuna Trophy sponsor. $1000 ' Event Sponsor with name connected to event. All sponsors of $500 or more are permitted to promote their businesses with special exhibits at the event.

Suggestions: Teams can dress to the Big Kahuna theme for added fun

Furnished: Big Canoes, life jackets, and paddles

Who to Contact: Bill Redmon ' 863-632-1924

The Accomplishment: To fund these camps and other community projects, Lake Wales Breakfast Rotary annually sponsors the Big Kahuna Paddle Challenge, the Reel 'em in for Rotary Bass Tournament, and the Share the Wealth Calendar.

History of The Big Kahuna Paddle Challenge: The Big Kahuna Paddle Challenge is unique in that it really does offer to the business who enters a team the opportunity to build a team while also helping very worthy causes. Each member on the team paddling will be able to navigate the canoe around the buoy and back, but the key to a successful Big Kahuna Paddle Team is when the team works together, puts their oars in the water in unison, pulls thru the water & continues to repeat the process that the paddlers become a team with a competitive completion time.

The Lake Wales Breakfast Rotary Club held its first community paddle challenge using Voyageur canoes in 2003. Its initial purpose was to raise money toward the Club's Centennial Project commemorating Rotary International's 100th Anniversary.

It was successful enough for the Club to adopt it as a regular fundraising program which they continue each year. Throughout its history it has raised money for the youth soccer field, Barney's Dream playground, and Shelter Box USA, and the Club's Boys and Girls camps, to name a few.

While the initial community race was held on July 4, the event is now held the last weekend in October in conjunction with the celebration of the city of Lake Wales' Pioneer Days.

Today the event is called The Big Kahuna Paddle Challenge and it raises money to help sponsor both a Boys and Girls camp for very deserving 4th and 5th grade students, run by the members of the Club.

To participate in the event, area businesses and organizations pay an entry fee. Additional funds are raised by leader board sponsors and other forms of advertising.

Because of the inexperience of most teams in paddling the 29', 14 passenger canoes, teams race against the clock to avoid running into each other.

It is believed that, for the first ten years, this may have been the only big canoe (Voyageur canoe) fundraising race held by any Rotary Club in the USA and perhaps the world.

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