Wounded Veterans To Go 400-Plus Miles On Personal Watercraft In Support Of Charities
Last September, several crews of war-injured military veterans and active servicemen boarded personal watercraft in Key West, Fl. and fought their way up the Eastern Seaboard to New York City, timed to coincide with 9/11 commemoration activities at the memorial site. Next month, the Second Annual “Never Quit Challenge” fund-raiser will traverse more than 400 miles along the California coastline, scheduled from Sept. 8 through Sept. 11.
Invited teams representing four charitable foundations supporting wounded veterans generated more than $100,000 in public donations last year. According to event organizer, Shawn Alladio, they think they can significantly increase that amount this year. “These guys are just plain tough,” she said. “They have each been through their own personal traumas and have become even more determined by their experiences, and just meeting the same financial goal won’t satisfy them.”
Funds raised in support of the water-borne teams go to wounded veteran causes associated with the four primary charitable organizations: Phoenix Patriot Foundation, The Station Foundation, The MARSOC Foundation, and The Boot Campaign.
All of the riders—many of whom have lost limbs in combat—will fight the elements, including up to six hours a day at speeds on the water in excess of 30 miles-per-hour. Given the typically strong swells along certain stretches of the coast, Alladio says they will feel “beaten-up, but not beaten” at the end of each day’s personal watercraft ride. Each of the stops along the route will host a separate fund-raising activity when the teams pull into shore. Those venues will include Santa Barbara, Long Beach, and the final stop in San Diego. The Long Beach stop will also include a separate round-trip run between the harbor and Avalon on Catalina Island. Organizing the arduous coastline tour is a huge task for Alladio’s team of more than two dozen volunteer members, but she’s mustered support from a number of suppliers that see the effort as a small way of helping the veterans show their dedication to aiding all wounded servicemen and women recuperating from the injuries encountered in service to the country’s military.
The personal watercraft used by the “Never Quit Challenge” are provided by Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., and according to the company’s Russel Brenan, the JET SKI watercraft units are part of its continuing support of Alladio’s safety training programs. “We’ve worked with Shawn for several years as she trains local, state, federal and military groups in the proper use of PWC, and this fund-raiser is a great way to recognize the contributions of the various military branches, and especially of those individuals who have given so much for all of us,” said Brenan.
More information is available on the event’s Website, www.neverquitchallenge.com, and public donations can be made at https://www.crowdrise.com/2014neverquitchallenge/fundraiser/shawnalladio.
Information on each of the primary charitable organizations is available, as follows:
Phoenix Patriot Foundation (www.phoenixpatriotfoundation.org),
The Station Foundation (www.thestationfoundation.org),
The MARSOC Foundation (www.MARSOCFoundation.org), and
The Boot Campaign (www.bootcampaign.com)