Published: May 03, 2013 7:27 AM EDT
Updated: May 03, 2013 7:47 AM EDT

NAPLES, Fla. – Noodles Italian Café and Sushi Bar at Mission Plaza in Naples, Fla. will host the Collier County Special Olympics’ 4th Annual Stand-Up Paddle Luau Races this Saturday.

The event takes place at the Bayfront Marina in Downtown Naples. The races are nationally recognized by the Special Olympics organization and will have a large number of local businesses contributing via sponsorship packages and silent raffle donations, with all proceeds going to benefit the Special Olympics Collier County (SOCC).

The SOCC was recognized on April 9 through a proclamation by the government of Collier County for its work in the community, and its work in bringing attention to its cause.

Last year’s event drew more than 100 paddlers, and raised more than $30,000 for Special Olympics Collier County.

Noodles owner Matt Berman hopes to exceed that goal this year, and has added prize levels for all division levels, and fun activities including a prize for the top female paddle boarder wearing heels.

“It’s an honor to work with the Special Olympics families and participants, and we look forward to sharing the joy of the event with the community,” said Berman.

In honor of stand-up paddle boarding’s Hawaiian roots, the 2013 iteration of the event will feature a luau theme, with grass skirts, straw hats, leis and Polynesian barbecue. Prizes will be awarded to all division levels.

The races begin at 8 a.m., with pre-registration for a $25 fee going to charity. Pre-registration is available up to one hour prior to the race. Also, silent auction contributions are welcome from any and all local businesses. Parties interested in attending, contributing or sponsoring should call (239) 370-6577 for details.