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Looking for the Helpers: Friendship Paddle continues tradition of giving

As our area is faced with ongoing changes due to a growing pandemic, we are bringing stories of people doing good in the community during a time of uncertainty.

Help us look for the helpers!

Friendship Paddle

Today's helpers are all of the people participating in this year's Friendship Paddle and raising money for a special family.

The Friendship Paddle has been around since 2003. People raise money and paddle across the Santa Barbara Channel every year.

The event provides emotional and financial support for Santa Barbara County residents dealing with life threatening and terminal illnesses and their families.

This year's beneficiary is Peter Winn, who sadly died of cancer last month.

His daughter, Ally, is now paddling in his honor.

The Hyatt family has supported the Friendship Paddle for years. They own the Rincon Brewery.

Recently, they donated $2,100 to Winn's family.

The Santa Barbara City Firefighters Association has been involved with the Friendship Paddle since 2011 when one of their own became sick. They also donated 500 dollars.

This year's paddle is underway, but in a new way because of the pandemic.

"This year is a little different with COVID, it's going to be a self-led challenge. The whole month of September you can paddle to meet your goal and raise money the whole month," said engineer Mike Billgren with the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

People are showing up for Winn in a big way. They've already logged more than 1,000 miles on the water. If you want to donate, go to or find them on Instagram. The event goes until the end of this month.

A great cause and event and it's still bringing the community together during COVID, and we wish the Winn family well.

Know of any other helpers making a difference during these trying times? Send Alys an email and let her know!

Article Topic Follows: Community

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Alys Martinez

Alys Martinez is a reporter and anchor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Alys, click here.


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