Wailuku, MAUI February 14, 2012 – Stand up for island youth at the first annual “Paddle Imua” fun race fundraiser on Saturday, May 5, starting at the famed Maliko Downwind Run and ending at Hawaiian Canoe Club in Kahului. Paddle Imua is a multiple discipline ocean paddle “fun race” open to SUP, OC1, OC2, OC6, SS and Paddleboard that celebrate the lives of special needs children by embracing our connection to the ocean, which defines our sense of place, Hawai’i nei.
Proceeds of Paddle Imua, will benefit Imua Family Services’ Camp Imua, an annual program that takes place in June at Camp Maluhia in the West Maui Mountains. For one week, 50 special needs campers and more than 200 volunteers come together for a week of crafts, games, swimming, helicopter rides and general fun, while making new friends and catching up with old. Camp Imua 2012 is scheduled for June 8-15.
“Lots of us have paddled the legendary Maliko-to-Kahului run many times, but I think this time it will be that bit more special,” said John Smalley, founder of Bluesmiths . “We are fully committed to supporting fundraising efforts for Camp Imua and we want to help the kids in any way possible. We`re all about hard work, water time and great times with family and friends and that`s what this event is all about. We simply can`t think of a better way to introduce our new line of crafted waterwear than at Paddle Imua.”
“I am overwhelmed by the positive support we have been receiving for Paddle Imua,” said Camp Imua Coordinator Maile John. “Bluesmiths, our title sponsor, is a brand new Maui based company making waterwear designed specifically with the paddler in mind. Bluesmiths has really taken to heart the mission of keeping Camp Imua alive for years to come, and has been there for every step of the event planning process.”
Paddle Imua will be a multi-paddle discipline “fun race,” beginning at Maliko Gulch and finishing at the Hawaiian Canoe Club Hale. Registration and check-in will begin at 10:00 a.m., and the race will begin promptly at 1 p.m. While the paddlers are out on the water, there will be outrigger canoe rides for the special needs kamali’i of Camp Imua, between 1 and 2 p.m., food, music and live entertainment beginning at 3 p.m., and an awards presentation at 4:30 p.m. Trophies will be given to the top three finishers in each division. (For specific race or division information, visit the event site at www.imuafamilyservices.org.
Online registration will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The race fee is $50 before May 1st, 2012; $60 for late registration on May 4th 2012; and $70 for final registration on Saturday, May 5, race day. First 150 race registrants receive a Bluesmith paddle T-shirt and “swag bag”. Food and refreshments provided by Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar, Flatbread Pizza Company and Maui Brewing Company.
“Paddle Imua is an extremely exciting venture for us here at Imua Family Services,” said Executive Director Dean Wong. “We’re really trying to transform the organization of 65 historic years and create a physical embodiment of the Hawaiian word ‘Imua’ (‘to move forward’), since the word comes from the water and paddling “Paddle Imua” is meant to help move our agency forward literally. One of the unique aspects of this water competition on Maui is that the competitors will be given the opportunity to mix and mingle with our special needs children of Camp Imua at the finish of the race and give the kids some water sports exposure and opportunity.”
For more information about Imua Family Services, visit the Imua Family Services Website at www.imuafamilyservices.org or call 808-244-7467. For race logistics, contact Hawaiian Canoe Club Executive Director Kaimana Brummel at 808-893-2124 . For more information about Bluesmiths LLC, visit www.bluesmiths.com or contact John Smalley at
To learn more about Camp Imua or the Paddle Imua event, contact Maile John at 808-244-7567, ext 240, or email