Stand up for Veterans


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Paws For Purple Hearts

A Kayaking and Paddle Boarding Fundraiser to Improve the Quality of Life of Our Veterans

In 2015 we raised $3,937 through donations, registration fees, and sponsorships.  In 2016 we raised $6,482, and a 25% increase in the number of paddlers!  In 2017 we saw a 35% increase in paddlers, and doubled the amount we raised – in the range of $13,000.  The event benefited Companions For Heroes a 501c that provides therapy dogs to Veterans, and Help Our Military Heroes, a 501c organization that provides adaptive minivans for disabled Veterans. The 2018 event will once again benefit Help Our Military Heroes and a new beneficiary dedicated to training future service dogs for other injured comrades, Paws For Purple Hearts. In 2018 we have raised over $14,000! As well as another $400 for the family of Cody Irons, a double amputee veteran, who lost his life in a paddle boarding accident recently. Our hearts go out to his family.

At Downunder we see on a regular basis the calming and healing power of the water, how it reduces stress, and relaxes people, and animals.  We are huge supporters of getting people and dogs on the water.  We even have our own store dog – Fin, a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, that’s been winning hearts since January of 2016, and paddles with anyone who wants him. 

Paddle Boarding and Kayaking can be great workouts or just something fun to do.  Develop skill and confidence, and hopefully you will join us at this years event – recreation-ally or competitively.  

The 4th Annual Stand Up For Veterans Event will be held on Sunday, July 8, 2018 at Downunder, 575 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT.  The registration is free for military veterans and first responders. We are eager to involve as many of these individuals as possible – if you can help us, please email [email protected]  To receive more information/the Sponsor Deck please also email [email protected]

This years’ event will feature Paddle Stroke Clinics by Jim Terrell, owner of Quickblade Paddles.

2018 Sponsors and Pictures

Results from the two races. 6 mile and 3 mile. Here is a link to a dropbox album of pictures.


2017 pictures include the 8 person inflatable paddle board, on which we had one veteran, guys, gals, a child and a couple of dogs – a great representation of the event.  Nikki Fuentes, one of the Rowayton Store Managers, received the ‘Spirit’ award, for her American Flag inspired bikini, hat, and shirt.  We have to say she is the epitomy of ‘spirit’ and we are grateful to have her as part of the Downunder family.  She also came in third in the 3 mile race – her first ever!


2016 Sponsors and Pictures

Follow this link to our dropbox album of pictures and video