Date Announced For Annual Jesse’s Paddle Fundraiser

SNOW HILL — Friends of the Jesse Klump Memorial Fund will gather for the 11th Annual Jesse’s Paddle on Saturday, July 20, at the Pocomoke River Canoe Company in Snow Hill.

Registration begins at 4 p.m. and boats will hit the water by 5 p.m. Support raised at the event funds the annual Jesse Klump Memorial Scholarship as well as the nonprofit’s suicide prevention outreach mission.

“There will be free canoes, kayaks and paddleboards for those who raise more than $40 to participate in ‘Jesse’s Poker Paddle,’” said Jesse Klump Memorial Foundation (JKMF) President Kim Klump. “While our missions are very serious, this is a day of fun and celebration, and we expect to put more than 50 boats on the Pocomoke River. Music is provided by the duo The Stims and there will be a great silent auction, food and beverages, all for important causes.”

Prizes for top fundraisers include nights in Ocean City and a luxury pontoon boat cruise for 10 guests on the Pocomoke. There are also prizes for those holding the best hands in the Poker Paddle. Last year the weather was terrible, and at the last minute the Poker Paddle was scrapped. “Jesse’s Cornhole Challenge” was mounted in its place, and was so popular that it will be reprised this year. There are prizes for cornhole winners.

Founded in 2009, the JKMF provided a $15,000 scholarship to a Snow Hill High School graduate in the class of 2019.

“Since 2009 we have granted over $100,000 in scholarships, and last year we added a program to offer grants to educators and mental health professionals to augment our work in suicide prevention,” Klump said.

The Jesse Klump Suicide Awareness & Prevention Program travels across the lower Eastern Shore teaching the recognition of suicide’s risk factors and warning signs, with the goal of reducing the historically-high suicide rates in our communities.

“A successful paddle enables us to offer all training, and all our educational material at absolutely no cost,” Fund Officer Ron Pilling said.

Supporters can create their own fundraising pages, or pledge on the behalf of others who have goals set on the website, by visiting http://jessespaddle.org and clicking on the big orange Jesse’s Paddle icon. For those who prefer to gather pledges other than online, the JKMF will provide paper pledge forms. Pledges and donations can be brought to the Paddle that day. For forms, or for information, call 443-982-2716 or email to weremember@jessespaddle.org.

Canoes, solo or two-person kayaks, or standup paddleboards must be reserved in advance for Jesse’s Poker Paddle. Paddlers must raise a minimum of $40 for a free boat for the event. To reserve your boat, call the Pocomoke River Canoe Company at 410-632-3971.