San Diego County is the home to the largest population of returning wartime veterans. Many of them return home wounded, needing wide-ranging rehabilitation and seeking a new road in life. Three Southwestern College clubs are joining forces to give 25 wounded warriors an evening of canoeing at Southwestern's Crown Cove Aquatic Center at the Silver Strand State Beach in Coronado on Saturday, May 5 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Warriors on the Water Luau is open to the public in hopes to promote college life to wounded warriors and raise money for the Warrior Foundation in San Diego. Sponsoring the event are the Outrigger Canoe Club, Student Veteran Organization (SVO) and Abilities Beyond Limitation Through Education Club.
There are 200 event tickets available, $20 for adults, $15 for military and immediate family and $10 for children under 12. There is an opportunity drawing in attending the event including a $2,500 home landscaping project and food provided by Dakines Hawaiian Catering.
Outrigger Canoe Club President Nicholas Aguilar Jr., pooled resources for the event with the SVO hoping this will lead to a yearly event and a summer weekend camp. Aguilar said he believes this event could change paradigms.
"Bringing these wounded out of the military hospital and in to a college club event will help them realize that their quality of life doesn't have go down after they discharge and give them a chance to meet with other veterans who can inform them about opportunities at Southwestern College," he said.
SVO President Shawn Buckingham said the plan is to get warriors another form of physical fitness and to provide a generous donation to the San Diego Warrior Foundation.
"No one will keep one cent of this money. We are trying to cover 100 percent of this cost with outside sources," he said.
Purchase tickets from any Outrigger Canoe Club or SVO member or the Veterans Services counter at the Cesar Chavez Building at Southwestern College. Donations to cover the cost of the event are welcomed and can be given through Veterans Services. For more information on purchasing tickets or providing donations, contact Southwestern College's Veteran Services at 619-482-6324.
Full disclosure: Albert Fulcher is a current member of Southwest