Bartender plans to ‘keep calm and paddle on’

Cayman bartender Jasmin “Yaz” Muratagic plans to paddle more than 400 miles across Canada next month to raise money and awareness for the Nadine Andreas Foster Home in George Town. 

The avid stand-up paddle boarder, who is a Canadian citizen and Yugoslavia native, will join Chad Guenter, a firefighter from the Canadian Rocky Mountains, for their “Keep Calm and Paddle On” fundraiser in support of the National Council of Voluntary Organisations’ foster care facility.  

The duo plan to paddle from sunrise to sunset across Lake Louise, Johnson Lake, Two Jack Lake, Spray Lakes, Vermillion Lake, Bow River, Lake Diefenbaker and the South Saskatchewan River. 

Mr. Muratagic said they hope Keep Calm and Paddle On, now in its second year, would beat last year’s total of $5,000. 

“[It’s about] raising funds and awareness for our kids who are placed in foster homes for reasons such as abuse and neglect and are in need of care and protection,” Mr. Muratagic said. “Getting people thinking about the stigma that prevents those who suffer and helping those who desperately need and deserve our attention.” 

The men had launched the event last year but flooding in Alberta and Saskatchewan forced them to change the route and took them off their planned track. Instead, they split the trip into two parts,  

“The first part was in the northern part of the province of Alberta, making our way over eight lakes and downstream Bow River. This journey alone was about five days and around 150 miles long,” Mr. Muratagic said. 

“The second part was in the province of Saskatchewan, Lake Diefenbaker and the South Saskatchewan River. The journey had its challenging parts, but the joy of completing it was worth every raindrop, the heat and the coyotes howling at night around our tent, and of course, an occasional fall in.” 

They will start their journey on Aug. 25, with plans to reach their final destination on Sept. 7. 

Fidel Murphy’s will host a bingo night at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 13 to raise money for the cause. To sponsor or donate money, call 326-4714 or email [email protected] 

Jaz-Paddleboarding

Cayman bartender Jasmin “Yaz” Muratagic practices his paddle boarding on Seven Mile Beach. – PHOTO: LAURA BUTTIGIEG

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