On Saturday, September 19th, the Town of Babylon hosted the first annual “Kayaking for a Cause” event at Cedar Beach Marina, bringing over 50 kayakers out to paddle in support of Amityville’s Hunter Squires Jackson American Legion Post 1218, which was recently damaged as a result of Superstorm Sandy and vandalism. The total amount raised for the local veterans topped $15,000, made up of registration fees from the event, contributions collected from local businesses and a large donation from Island Park based American Legion Post 1029.
“This event not only provided a great opportunity for a fun-filled day on the water but also for us to give back to individuals who already gave so much for this country,” said Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez, who organized the event. “I am proud that we were able to help the veterans of Hunter Squires Jackson Post 1218, as they work to get their building back to working condition.”
A ceremony was held to launch the kayakers at Cedar Beach Marina, where Deputy Supervisor Martinez welcomed visitors and Councilwoman Jackie Gordon, a retired Lt. Colonel of the United States Army Reserves, detailed the hardships that the Hunter Squires Jackson post has faced since their facility was damaged. A check was presented to Post Commander Charlie Martin.
Those participating in the event launched their kayaks at 9:00AM and embarked on one of three trails, depending on skill level: 2.5 miles for beginners, 3.5 for intermediate and 5.5 for advanced. Kayakers had the opportunity to explore little seen areas of the Great South Bay including views of Cedar Island and sights of marine wildlife, such as snowy egrets and blue herons. Following the tour, kayakers were invited to the Cedar Beach Hut to celebrate the day’s festivities with a free lunch.