Nothing's sweeter than being able to mix your hobby with helping others, said Somers Point resident Paul Giunta, a paddle boarder and surfer by passion, an entrepreneur by trade.
Giunta and fellow paddle boarder and surfer Carter Hanin, of Margate, will participate Friday in a 26-mile, approximately seven-hour stand-up paddle boarding event in New York waters to benefit Autism Awareness and the Surfers' Environmental Alliance.
The Aug. 12 event is called SEAPaddle NYC, and it's one of the largest paddle-board events on the East Coast, "probably one of the biggest in the county," Giunta said.
Giunta is vice president of the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation, which is named for New Jersey's most successful professional surfer and a cancer survivor. Hanin is a member and trustee of the foundation.
For the past four years, the foundation has held an annual Paddle for a Cause event, a 22.5 mile paddle around Absecon Island to raise money for cancer research, awareness and aid. This year's Paddle for a Cause event, held June 12, raised more than $20,000 with a record 65 participants.
Some Paddle for a Cause participants had previously paddled in the SEAPaddle NYC, which is how Giunta and Hanin heard about it and later got involved.
This is the second year the two men are paddling in SEAPaddle NYC, which is in its fifth year. SEAPaddle NYC is a two-division event - one part race, the other a noncompetitive endurance charity paddle - with both parts raising money for the two charities.
The event starts on the west side of New York City, then takes paddlers up the Hudson River, past Harlem, down the East River and though Hell's Gate Bridge and ends at the Brooklyn Bridge beach, Giunta said. Each paddler is obligated to raise a minimum of $1,000, with a goal of $1,500. This year's event has a goal of $400,000, about the amount raised at last year's event.
Giunta and Hanin will be taking the noncompetitive route, "but we'll be competing against each other," Giunta said. "We're very competitive individuals to begin with."
While participating in last year's SEAPaddle NYC, the men said they took more of a leisurely cruise - if taking on 2- to 3-foot rapids at 10 mph and looking out for barges and possible landing helicopters, at times, can be called leisurely.
"We really just enjoyed the sites," Hanin said. "You're cruising in groups, pulling up beside people, getting to know your neighbors. You're on the water for five to seven hours."
But this year, the men have been practicing on the water a lot more often, and Giunta said he's considering getting into the race division.
With two days left before the SEAPaddle NYC event, Giunta and Hanin are working hard to reach their pledge goals and raise funds to benefit Autism Awareness and the Surfers' Environmental Alliance. To support them, follow the links to their respective pledge pages at seapaddlenyc.org.
Contact Elisa Lala:
To attend Surf
for a Cause
What: The Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation's 11th annual Surf For A Cause surf and beach fest
When: Starts at 4 p.m., Sat., Sept. 10
Where: Decatur Avenue beach, in front of Lucy the Elephant in Margate
For event details and online registration see
Cost: $20 at the door
To support Giunta and Hanin
To support Paul Giunta and Carter Hanin in the SEA
Paddle NYC, follow the links to their respective pledge pages at