7th Annual Get Out Girl Paddle Jam
It's Time to Rise Up and Shine!
Join us on the water for our 7th Annual Get Out Girl PaddleJam or create your own Get Out Girl Virtual Event! All proceeds benefit Operation Get Out, a 501c3 which provides Blue Mind experiences where #waterismedicine for our front line responders and veterans in memory and honor of Travis County First Responders Kristin McLain and Jessica Hollis.
This year more than ever is time to find our resilience, reclaim ourselves and our connection to each other, and Rise Up and Shine! It's been a year of immense uncertainty, stress, and challenge for many and we could all use a good dose of the power of nature and water to increase our own mental, emotional and physical well-being! All while connecting to our community in the wide expanse of the great outdoors, spacially distanced yet socially connected, while paddling in memory and honor of two amazing female Travis County first responders, Kristin McLain and Jessica Hollis, each who lost their lives within six months of each other serving Central Texas.
Kristin was a Travis County StarFlight rescue nurse and part of starting our first Get Out Girl PaddleJam in 2014. She was a true Get Out Girl who spent most of her off time paddling, wake surfing, skiing, and boating on Lake Austin to reset and reconnect after tough shifts as a flight nurse. Jessica Hollis, Travis County Senior Deputy, utilized our local lakes similarly, spending family time on them for fun, but also personally benefiting from the calming effects of what being on the water does for your mind and emotions. Both of these inspiring women shared a common mind and heart of "blue" that is now being passed forward to touch the lives of other first responders on the water.
Their families and friends have come together to start Operation Get Out (OGO), a 501c3 that gives back to front line responders and veterans through scientifically validated Blue Mind experiences and events that give individuals and agencies the opportunity to experience the unlocking and wellness power of being in, near and on the water. This year OGO has set a goal of raising $100,000 for 400 inflatable paddleboards, backpacks, air pumps, and paddles for our front line responders to utilize for positive mental and emotional wellness experiences on the water using the science of "Blue Mind". All proceeds and donations from PaddleJam will go to OGO to benefit individuals and agencies experiencing stress, illness, anxiety, loss, and PTS.
When we considered whether to have the event this year with all that is going on, we grounded ourselves in our beliefs and evidence that nature and water are the medicine we could all use a dose of at this time, for our bodies, minds, and spirits. And similarly, our front line workers are in more need than ever to Get Out and find the peace and tranquility that we all know the water can bring.
Moving forward with PaddleJam this year is a tedious undertaking; things will be similar but different. We need to plan, yet remain fluid with the ability to pivot as needed. We want to continue the purpose and legacy while doing it in a safe, conservative way that allows participants to be comfortable in how they choose to participate. We do not want to skip a year, as it's important to us to ground in the wellness opportunity that nature and water can give each of us at this time, while we continue the mission in Kristin and Jessica's honor.
We are setting forth with the plan below, but please know we will stay connected to local needs and news, and if we have to or get to modify, you will be the first to know.
Front Line Female Responders: Sponsorships are available for complimentary registration! Be our guest and send us your agency/organization information HERE and we will provide you with a VIP Registration Code!
WHAT TO EXPECT
PADDLE JAM SCHEDULE Sunday, Oct. 18 (*most updated version will be available in participant packets the week of the event!)
Thursday, Oct 15 - Saturday, Oct 17
10am - 4pm - Mandatory Packet Pick Up @ The Ski Dock 12234 N FM 620, Austin, TX 78750 (there will not be any packet pick up the morning of the paddle)
Sunday Oct 18
8-9am Individual Launching. If you have your own board, launch at any local area that works for you (see a map of options at Packet Pick Up). If a group launch becomes permissible this day, we will inform paddlers at Packet Pick Up. Otherwise, if you have your own board, self-launch, and meet us on the water!
8-9am Rental Pick Ups River Bend Boat Ramp 12300 River Bend, Austin, TX 78732
8:30am - 11:30am Poker Run and food & drink stops open at each mile marker between River Bend Boat Ramp and Jessica Hollis Park
9:30-11am Rental Pick Ups Jessica Hollis Park 14100 Low Water Crossing Rd, Austin, TX 78732
10:30-12:30 Finisher's Floatilla at Jessica Hollis Park on Lake Austin at Low Water Crossing. Food, Mimosa's, Finisher's Gift, Raffle, Prizes - our same great party but this year with lots of space spread out in a 1/4 mile area at the Low Water Crossing.
11am-1pm Water Transfers for participants available between Jessica Hollis Park and Quinlan Park area for participants
12pm Raffle Drawing (need not be present to win; items not picked up will be available at The Ski Dock for pick up beginning Tuesday Oct. 20
12:30 Poker Hand winners announced!
1pm Personal Board Transfers by land back to River Bend Boat Ramp participant parking.
VIRTUAL GET OUT GIRL ACTIVITY OF CHOICE
Want to create your own fundraising activity to support the cause? Just Do It! Solo or with friends and family. Create your own commitment with your activity of choice (run, walk, bike, swim, Paddle 10 miles, paddle the distance of Lady Bird Lake, paddle daily, paddle with family or friends, surf dam to dam, bike around Lady Bird Lake - or get crazy and fun and do something unique! You get the idea - there is no box; so step out of it and get creative. Now's the time for some fun with a purpose!
*Due to location constrictions we will not host Surf Jam this year, but do hope to bring it back in Spring 2021.
*Safety and respect are our number one priorities. All paddle participants must have a USCG Type III PFD on board or on themselves while on the water. It is Texas law that participants 12 years or younger must wear them. We will follow CDC and Texas COVID 19 guidelines for outdoor exercising and recreation. Paddlers will also be asked to complete a self-risk assessment prior to paddling.
*If weather or circumstances outside of our control cancel PaddleJam, we will do our best to reschedule in 2020. If that is not a possibility, since this is a fundraising event, registrations and all fees associated will still be donated directly to Operation Get Out, a nonprofit 501c3.