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March 13, 2015

Ray Evernham Hosts WPA-Sanctioned Paddleboard Race to Raise Funds for Autism

(Mooresville, N.C.) – My Aloha Paddle and Surf, in partnership with 3-time NASCAR champion crew chief Ray Evernham, will host Stand Up for Autism benefitting the IGNITE community center and the Autism Society of North Carolina on Lake Norman May 8-9, 2015, at Port City Club in Cornelius, NC.

The event will feature Elite and Recreational races, which are open to the general public. Limited paddleboard rentals will be available on a first-reserve basis. Paddleboard fitness demos will also be held. The race is sanctioned by the World Paddle Association (WPA) and will be the first regional points race on Lake Norman.

“After four years of promoting paddleboarding and introducing so many of our residents to the sport, it is so exciting to host a WPA race here in Lake Norman,” said Rob Bennett, event director and owner of My Aloha Paddle and Surf.

Stand Up for Autism will support IGNITE, a community center in Davidson for young adults with high-functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger’s Syndrome (AS). IGNITE offers activities, skills training, and educational workshops that foster social, financial, educational, and employment independence for its members. But most importantly, IGNITE offers a social environment in which members can connect with others and experience a sense of community. IGNITE is operated by the Autism Society of North Carolina. IGNITE was founded in 2012 by NASCAR champion crew chief Ray Evernham whose son, Ray J, has Asperger’s Syndrome.

“We are very excited to partner with Rob and his team at My Aloha Paddle and Surf to put on this great event,” said Evernham, who is a Lake Norman resident and paddleboard enthusiast. “The IGNITE Community Center is a very important project of mine and events like this are what enable us to continue having such a profound effect on so many young adults on the Autism spectrum in Davidson, NC.”

The event will begin Friday evening with a kick-off party from 6-9 p.m. at Port City Club, which will include food, beverages, silent auction and music. The pre-race meeting will start at 8 a.m. with the WPA Region 6 sanctioned Elite and Recreational races to follow. The awards ceremony on the beach will begin at 11 a.m. and be followed by a luau featuring the Island Hula Girls along with island music, food and fun activities for all ages.

If interested in sponsoring or volunteering, please contact det@rayevernham.com. All event proceeds will benefit the IGNITE Community Center and Autism Society of North Carolina.

To register for the event, please visit: https://paddleguru.com/races/StandUpforAutismWPAPaddleboardRace.

Background:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. A prevalence study by the CDC indicates as many as 1 in 58 8-year-old schoolchildren in North Carolina may be diagnosed with autism.
  • For more than 45 years, the Autism Society of North Carolina has worked to address areas of need and expand services for the autism community in North Carolina. ASNC works to directly improve the lives of individuals affected by autism by providing advocacy, education, and services.

For more information, call 1-800-442-2762 or visit www.autismsociety-nc.org.