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Paddleboat race raises $3K for Lily Pad SANE Center

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 6:07 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Lily Pad SANE Center spends thousands of dollars each year to provide victim services. A retired marine took it in his hands to help raise money to fund some of those services.

The center works 24 hours a day to make sure those who need their services most can use them whenever free of charge.

Lily Pad’s Executive Director Mary Martinez said some of the services they provide are rape and sexual assault analysis, as well as making sure each foster child has an advocate in the court system.

She said on average one victim can cost thousands of dollars.

Mary Martinez, Executive Director of Luly Pad SANE Center
Mary Martinez, Executive Director of Luly Pad SANE Center(WALB)

“To provide services and expert testimonies and testing that’s needed, but that’s our duty that’s what we’re charged with,” said Martinez.

Costs are what make fundraisers like the Great Paddle Boat race so appreciated.

“I got a call from someone that I have never met asked about our services and said ‘hey, we want to do something, we want to do a fundraiser for you guys,” said Martinez.

Participants at the boat race
Participants at the boat race(Doug Hamblen)

That stranger was Doug Hamblen. He said he got the inspiration after having his paddle boat for years and never using it.

“This would be a great idea to have the great paddleboat race. It’s silly because it’s so slow. We could give any proceeds to a local organization or charity that would have a positive effect on our community,” said Hamblen.

He said the turnout was nothing he expected.

Doug Hamblen, Organzer
Doug Hamblen, Organzer(WALB)

“I don’t think you can put a number on it. We had the people there that showed up physically. The dock was absolutely crowded, boats pulled up all along the side of spring creek I think the official number is massive I can’t put a number to it,” said Hamblen.

Money is still being counted, but at this point, Hamblen said they have raised $3,000.

“It’s really inspiring to see the entire community come together and support such a great cause and it gives you hope and inspiration,” said Hamblen.

They are making plans for next year. Hamblin said it will be at the same time and place.

The Lily Pad is also getting ready for its “Touchdown and Tunes Tailgate Concert.”

The fundraiser is hosted at Austin’s Firegrill. Attendees can watch two prime-time SEC football games.

They’ll also have a silent auction and local bands.

Since Lily Pad couldn’t host the fundraiser last year, they’re ready for this year.

Boat race participant
Boat race participant(Dough Hamblen)

“We look forward to this event because it’s so much fun it’s a good opportunity for friends and family to experience and fellowship and support a great cause,” said Martinez.

The fundraiser helps raise awareness and fund the services Lily Pad provides victims.

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