Friends Mike Simpson and Will Rich have undertaken a major challenge that eventually brought them to Maine. Will and Mike departed Key West, Florida on March 1, 2011 The two succeeded to SUP (Stand Up and Paddleboard) up the east coast from Key West, Fla., to Portland, Maine. Their goal is to raise awareness and money for the Wounded Warrior Project, a national nonprofit organization that aids injured military personnel, and Stand Up for a Clean Ocean, an organization based in North Carolina dedicated to removing trash and debris from our marine ecosystems.
We live on, and love, the ocean, and she obviously plays an integral part in this adventure. We have chosen to combine our efforts with a great group of people who work hard ( and have fun at the same time ) to educate others about the well-being of our marine eco-systems on which we so closely depend. SUP Clean-up, a world-wide organization based in North Carolina, couldn’t be a better fit for what we’re trying to do. Being close to the ocean means so much more than using her for recreation and sustenance . It’s a symbiotic relationship. The sea gives us so much and we MUST care for her better in return
“Stand Up for Those Who Stood Up” is a powerful focus for their effort. “We’re both standup paddle boarders with a deep respect for the sacrifices our military men and women make every day for our freedom and security,” said Will Rich. “We’re proud to be standing up for those who stood up for us.”
Will and Mike invite us to visit their blog home page to click on links to their selected causes to learn about ways we can help. We can all do something as simple as picking up trash wherever we SUP – bring along an extra bag (not plastic) to put it in. That’s what Will and Mike did along their way. They realize that there are the big steps (like paddling from Key West to Maine) and the little steps (like showing a kid the safe/clean way to pick up trash they might find along a shoreline. It’s all in the Elder SUP collection of stories and actions – got any to share?
Here’s a great video by Anne Gassett – thanks so much for sharing this inspirational peek at Mike and Will as they move from North Carolina to Virginia in their meaningful quest