Paddlers, kayakers and anyone who owns a non-motorized watercraft are welcome to sign up for the Paddle for Heart Challenge on Sunday afternoon.

This 3-mile paddle event aims to raise money for the Hart for Hearts foundation, which raises awareness of the problems associated with infants born with congenital heart defects and seeks donations to assist families with expenses.

Check-in time is between noon and 1:30 p.m. and the challenge kicks off at 2 p.m. All ages are encouraged to sign up, but they must bring their own vessel or board, or they shall remain landlubbers for the afternoon. Don’t feel restricted by form or design – participants can be as creative as they like. The name of the game is not speed (official timing will not be done) as organizers will instead be emphasizing heart health and raising money.

The course starts and ends at Hemingways on Seven Mile Beach, and all finishers will receive a medal, post-race refreshments and a chance to win raffle prizes. There is a limited quantity of commemorative T-shirts up for grabs, so sign up and pay online early to get yours. There is no race day registration, be aware.

Hart for Hearts

Ben Hart set up the charity in November 2015 to raise money to help Cayman Islands families with financial expenses, outside of medical treatment, associated with medical emergencies.

“My wife and I had a child born with a rare congenital heart defect and we were off island for three months and suffered significant financial losses as a result,” Hart says. “We knew there were a number of Cayman families in similar situations that weren’t as fortunate as us.

“The idea of the charity is for us to acknowledge there is a problem and to raise awareness and funding and help those families.”

Cayman Heart Fund

The Cayman Heart Fund is a nonprofit, nongovernment organization dedicated to the reduction of heart and circulatory disease in the Cayman Islands. Heart and circulatory disease, known as cardiovascular disease, is the number one health problem in the Cayman Islands.

The organization’s aim is to help prevent and reduce the early deaths, long-term disabilities and widespread suffering that heart and circulatory diseases cause the islands’ people.

Entry fees for the Paddle for Heart Challenge are $25 for adults and $15 for children under 16. Register online at www.caymanactive.com.

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