June 4th, 2011 Bay Area, CA.:

Rain, wind nor even tornadoes didn’t keep our SUP Event, STAND UP For Mental Illness from shining bright and keeping our mission to raise awareness for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Unusual, heavy rain, hail, snow in Lake Tahoe and even a tornado was reported to have touched down North of us, which meant for tumultuous conditions for some first time SUP paddlers scheduled for our East Bay SUP & Suzie Trains Maui Event.    Since safety was our main concern along with making sure that paddlers new to the sport would have a good experience, we made the call to cancel the event.

Suzie, Lucija & Samir

Despite the extreme weather, which did put a damper on our outdoor efforts; however, thanks to Lucija Kordic’s of East Bay SUP ability to make great things happen, we decided to host and “Aloha Breakfast” to encourage the participants to come and talk SUP and donate to NAMI.  The Chop Bar Restaurant, located in the new revitalized area of the Embarcadero of Oakland and Jack London Square hosted our large group of inspiring SUP paddlers and brought together new friends and old!  I even got arrested by Oakland’s finest, but soon talked them into spreading a little extra aloha!

Thanks to all of you who generously donated your entry fees and other donations. This will be a big huge help.

Here are some photos of our crew:

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There are many supporters I’d like to thank for working so hard and volunteering your time, campaigning and enthusiasm:

Organizer: Lucija Kordic: Founder of East Bay SUP If you live in the Bay Area, you’ll want to meet her and SUP with her!

Naish International: My SUP sponsor

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Ben Carroll at California Canoe

: The best and coolest training gear for SUP

Kaenon Polarized Eyewear

If I can make it back this September, I’ll keep you posted. I would love to get you all on the water paddling. Until, a hui ho and aloha!

Suzie Cooney, of Suzie Trains Maui

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