With one in five young people developing mental illness in Canada – an experience only amplified over the last two years, the return of Surrey Hospitals Foundation’s Champion of the Crescent couldn’t be more welcome.
The popular paddle board event – postponed for the past two years – returns in a big way July 23 to raise much-needed funds for youth mental health in Surrey.
“During COVID we saw a sharp increase in the number of young people who were struggling as a result of the isolation,” notes Jane Adams, president and CEO of Surrey Hospitals Foundation.
“Here in Surrey, where we have more children and teens than any other city in Western Canada, at no time have they needed us more.”
Hosted in Blackie Spit Park, Champion of the Crescent is B.C.’s only annual charity stand-up paddle board event in support of youth mental health programs. With the goal of raising $200,000, proceeds fund important youth programs at Surrey Memorial Hospital.
In particular, money raised will help renovate an outdoor learning space at Shirley Dean Pavilion, used for group sessions, recreation, gardening programs and other supportive initiatives for youth. “During COVID, it became even more vital as it was often the only safe outdoor place youth could gather with their counsellors,” Adams says.
Beyond those vital resources to support youth mental health initiatives, events like the Champion of the Crescent also raise awareness, and reinforce the power of family, friends and community, helping young people realize they’re not alone.
“This event is about standing up for youth with mental illness and it’s a way to do it that’s healthy and outdoors,” Adams says.
Sign up today to dip your paddle this summer
Teams of four paddlers – friends, family or co-workers – will compete in fast-paced water relays for a chance to win the coveted Champion of the Crescent trophy.
In addition, participants will enjoy hospitality inside the Paddler’s Village and a fun and interactive Family Zone. Adding to the festivities will be an award for best team costume and for the team that fell the most, plus a swag bag for all paddlers.
Paddles and boards will be provided for paddlers during the race, with a paddle board orientation prior to the event.
Registration for the Champion of the Crescent is $2,500 per team of four. For those who want to support the event, but can’t participate in person, Adams suggests sponsoring a team of youth participants. Many young people experienced paddle boarding as part of their treatment, and would be keen to give back, but may lack the funds to register themselves.
Presented by EllisDon, with CentreStage sponsor LMS Reinforcing Steel Group and Course sponsor Houle Electric. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. For details, email Kimberly.email@example.com
For more information, and to register today, visit surreyhospitalsfoundation.com/paddle22/