Earlier this summer, locals and their pets teamed up to raise money for local nonprofit Cullman Area Animal Welfare Association (CAAWA) at the Doggone Paddle event.

Hosted by Smith Lake Paddle Boards, the event brought together paddleboarders and their pets to race at Smith Lake Park on June 11. All proceeds supported CAAWA and helped raise awareness for the organization.

For Smith Lake Paddle Boards, this is one of many ways they give back to the community. Smith Lake Paddle Boards is the authorized YOLO Board dealer for north Alabama. They offer rentals and lessons on Smith Lake and sales across the southeast.

“Being a local business, we always want to support charities in our community,” said Tom Cost of Smith Lake Paddle Boards. “We host a race on Smith Lake called Paddle at the Rock. This was our fourth year to host the race.
We had over 60 paddlers participate, with all the proceeds going to the Bell Center for Early Childhood Intervention. We also have a race set in Tuscaloosa called the Black Warrior SUP Championship on July 16th. This is our second year to host this event and all the proceeds go to the American Heart Association of West Alabama.”

Doggone Paddle was their first event to help CAAWA and approximately 20 paddleboarders participated. Many more were introduced to CAAWA as an organization that rescues abandoned and abused animals in the Cullman area.

“We were introduced to CAAWA when an abused dog was abandoned in our neighborhood. The dog was pregnant and in very poor condition. One of our friends, Carol McFee, contacted CAAWA and they took the dog in. She was in very bad condition but CAAWA was able to care for her. She ended up having 13 puppies. CAAWA cared for the puppies until they were old enough for adoption. They successfully placed all the puppies in caring homes. The dog’s name is Ginger and she is currently available for adoption through CAAWA,” said Cost.

Learn more about CAAWA at caawarescue.com and check out Smith Lake Paddle Boards at http://www.smithlakepaddleboards.com/.

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