Community Corner: Get Out Girl PaddleJam

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The event was founded by friends Cindy Present and Kristin McLain. Present was born and raised on Lake Austin, and has always been a lover of water and the outdoors, while McLain was a STAR Flight nurse who often used paddleboarding as a way to clear her mind after long shifts. The two friends believed in the positive mental and emotional benefits of being on the water as well as the synergy that occurs when women get together through activity and a cause. Their vision was to use this “blue mind” aspect to create an all-female event on Lake Austin.
 

PaddleJam has inspired hundreds through the years on the beautiful waters of upper Lake Austin as a non-competitive community paddle. Women and girls paddle distances of 2-11 miles on paddleboards, kayaks or canoes. They come together to support each other to achieve various distances while others have goals in mind to simply go the distance.  

“Get Out Girl is all about getting girls of all ages to be on the water,” Present says. “Getting outside their box or their comfort zone, getting active in the community and getting connected to ourselves.”  

 

 

In 2015, McLain passed away in a STAR Flight rescue accident. Present and many others of the community turned to the healing powers of paddling and being on the water to help them work through the tragedy.  

When the organizers of PaddleJam came together, there was no question that the Get Out Girl PaddleJam would be named after Kristin McLain from that day forward. 

“We wouldn’t have it any other way,” Present says. 

Today, all fundraising from Get Out Girl’s annual PaddleJam and SurfJam is donated to Foundation 1023. Named after McLain’s badge number “1023,” the foundation is committed to supporting the emotional and mental wellness of first responders and their support networks. This year’s PaddleJam event will take place on Oct. 6 and 7. Visit getoutgirl.com for more information.

 

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