Ocean Institute Volunteer Paddling from Catalina to Dana Point Harbor
Shore Celebration for Volunteer Paddling 25 Miles from Catalina Island to Dana Point to Raise Money for the Ocean Institute

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Dana Point, Calif. – August 8, 2017The Ocean Institute, Orange County’s leading marine science, education, and maritime history center, will host a ‘welcome back’ celebration for Ocean Institute volunteer Ron Hoffmeyer, and Dr. Jeff Hughes and his son Austin Hughes. The three will stand up paddle approximately 25 miles from Catalina to Dana Point in an effort to raise funds and awareness for the Institute. Donate to their GoFundMe here.

The Paddle for the Ocean Institute is a 10-hour plus stand up paddle event with the sole purpose of raising money for The Ocean Institute. Founded by Hoffmeyer, the inaugural paddle begins in the town of Avalon on Santa Catalina Island and ends in Dana Point.

Hoffmeyer has participated in many endurance type sports from biking hundreds of miles, running marathons and mountain trekking to summit the peaks of Rainier, Kilimanjaro and other mountains. A 25-mile paddle across open ocean is just another endurance effort Hoffmeyer hopes to add to his list of accomplishments.

He, now in his fifth decade of life, notes that while he has “accumulated sports-related injuries, paddle boarding is low impact but still not injury proof.” Having trained for the paddle for the past few months, Hoffmeyer said he and both Hughes have “experienced a great amount of marine animals during their training. When you are out far enough that you cannot see shore in any direction and the only power you have is your paddle there is a serenity to the moment.”

A passionate and dedicated volunteer to the Institute, Hoffmeyer and the elder Hughes collaborated on establishing personal, professional and fitness goals that include giving back to the community. Hoffmeyer was named education volunteer of the year in 2017 by the Ocean Institute. He is committed to positively affecting and interacting with kids. Combined with his education (he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry), which adds a level of science-related relevancy, his strong interest in the ocean and passion for the Ocean Institute are driving forces behind what is hoped to become an annual event.

Hoffmeyer states, “Like most people, I care about what happens to our environment – whether land, sea or air. This unique fundraising effort fulfills another desire of mine to try to ‘do my share.’ The Ocean Institute is a one-of-a-kind non-profit organization.”

Come welcome the three-some as their 10+-hour journey from Catalina culminates at Baby Beach on Friday, August 18. The group expects to arrive between 3-5:30pm depending on weather, wind and ocean conditions. For up-to-date information about the paddle be sure to follow Ocean Institute on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you’re interested in contributing to the fundraising efforts, click here.