NAPLES, Fla.- Local paddlers gathered in Naples Saturday morning to compete in a one-mile charity race to benefit March of Dimes. Mark Garcy owns Naples Marina and Excursions and organized the first annual event.
"Anything with children has been important to me, having children and there are a lot of children in need so if we can do anything to help out the community I think it's a well worth while cause," Garcy said.
Dubbed the "Everything on Water" tournament, athletes also signed up to kayak and fish later this month.
While March of Dimes didn't have a fundraising goal in mind for the tournament, volunteers said their main goal was to spread the word of their cause.
"It helps raise awareness for the babies that are born with birth defects," said volunteer Marva Sutt.
But the paddlers who came out said they hope the event also spreads the word of their sport that has become a growing trend in southwest Florida.
"You can paddle for any reason but when you can paddle and actually make a difference or put something towards a difference it makes that much better. All the extra is just extra when you're doing it for your community and the people in it," said paddler Kat Lucchesi.
If you'd like to sign up for the fishing tournament on October 22 go to www.cruisefishdive.com/