As if Stand Up Paddling taking over the paddling world wasn’t enough, SUP’ers are now making waves in the surf industry, as San Clemente, Calif.’s Surfer Magazine announced Paddle2Live as the 2012 Surfer Poll “Agent of Change” award recipient.
The award will be presented on Dec. 6, 2012, at the 42nd annual event honoring surfing’s top athletes, films, and performances. Fans can tune in to the show in its entirety via the webcast at SurferPoll.com, which will air live on Dec. 6 from Turtle Bay on the North Shore during the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Attendance is by invitation only, but the event will stream live to the world at SurferPoll.com beginning at 7 p.m. HST (9 p.m. PST, 12 a.m. EST).
The Agent of Change award recognizes an individual or organization making a difference for the betterment of the surfing community. Jack Shimko and Paddle2Live will join the ranks of Dave Rastovich who received the first-ever award in 2008 for his work with Surfers for Cetaceans, Dr. Dave Jenkins in 2009 for his work with SurfAid International, the Mauli Ola Foundation in 2010, and Operation Amped in 2011.
Paddle2Live is an adventure-based organization that uses sport to better the world, promote health and fitness, and educate young individuals to lead healthy, active, and adventurous lives. Jack Marshall Shimko, Newport Beach native and founder of Paddle2Live, was diagnosed with cancer three years ago on his 29th birthday. He chose to fight his cancer with his favorite sport of paddle boarding, to date paddling thousands of miles in the open ocean in order to raise awareness and funds for other foundations such as Livestrong, UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation and the Newport Beach Aquatic Center.
“P2L Founder Jack Shimko has inspired us all, reminding us that the ocean cures, and that we should not only be thankful for our connection to it, but also encourage others—regardless of the challenges they may face—to jump in. Thank you P2L and all those involved,” said Surfer publisher Tony Perez.
“We are so honored that Paddle2Live is receiving the 2012 Surfer Poll Agent of Change Award! We would like to thank Surfer Magazine for the acknowledgement and for their ongoing support of Paddle2Live. This is a testament to all who have fought, are fighting and surviving cancer today. I’ve been in the ocean my entire life, influenced by the industry and inspired by the athletes shaping the fabric of our culture. For me, cancer was a reality check, which put life into perspective and motivated me to persevere and tell my story. Over time, we’ve been able to inspire others facing cancer and raise funds for a variety of cancer related charities. Now, things have gone full circle and were working on many new exciting opportunities for human interaction with the ocean as a tool to fundraise, educate, inspire and improve the lives of people facing a range of physical, mental, social or economic challenges. This award will greatly help our progress and elevate Paddle2Live to new levels,” Shimko said on his facebook page.
— Aaron Bible