The Sunday Bladers


Chuck & Debbie's Party & Kayaking

to the Fireworks - 2016


Previous parties: 2004 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017



Chuck and Debbie did it again with another wild and wonderful 4th of July Cookout and kayaking to the Fireworks. As usual, it was an almost impossible task to get every one gathered together to take a group picture after the Cookout, a kayak safety briefing and Mark and friends reading of the Declaration of Independence. People were now thinking about getting ready to go kayaking. Never the less we managed to get about 50 people grouped together long enough to take a group picture. As every year there was an overly generous supply of food and drinks for all. Chuck had Rob G. helping him again and they kept an endless supply of delicious eats on the food table. Chuck had his usual slushy drinks and a mouth-watering beer on tap. It was an afternoon delight for all.
Chuck had ordered good kayaking weather and it didn’t look like rain. Also it was going to be low tide so the kayakers would be able to get out of the kayaks and socialize during the fireworks.
Inputs from Chuck: The paddle to the fireworks and back went off without a hitch. Thanks to all the help from all the participants we were on the water by 7:30 which I believe was in record time. The tide was so low we did not have to tie our boats to keep them on the sandbar simply lay in them and watch the fireworks. The fireworks were spectacular as always. A group of 10 or so kayaks paddled up to the safety area for a thrilling show. We rafted together with the outside boats keeping us orientated to the fireworks, no small task with 10 tandems, thanks Michelle Linda, Peggy and Dylan! The trip back was also uneventful with all boats and equipment returned loaded and everyone headed home by 11 also a record. We had a nice time swimming and eating after arriving home. We had a good group to help wash the equipment and sort it for each store. Thanks to all who came and all who helped.
I do need to send a special thank you to our sponsors, Bill Jacksons, Osprey Bay, and Sweetwater Kayaks for donating the use of their boats and equipment. Also a special Thank you to Rob who made it fun for Debbie, arrived early to help set up, cooked for all of us, helped keep everyone safe during the paddle, and stayed helping till the last boat, PFD, and Paddle were washed and sorted. Thank you Rob! Oh by the way nice swim suit while swimming in the pool Rob!
Lastly Thanks to all who came we raised at least $1500.00 maybe more by the time any online donations are tabulated for the Guide Dog Foundations Suncoast Puppy Raisers. We hope everyone had as much fun as we did and Thank You all! Let’s do it again next year.
    - Chuck & Debbie Hietala

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