In honor of River’s birthday each September, we hold a Paddle Out to celebrate the love that she continues to spread through The River Ellis Foundation. Due to COVID-19, we are unable to hold our paddle out in person this year, but we want YOU to have a DIY Paddle Out to spread some love and positivity during these difficult times.

WHEN: River’s 2nd birthday is September 17th, but we’re asking all participants to paddle out anytime during the week of September 14th.

HOW: This is a family friendly activity that everybody can enjoy! Grab your family or quarantine team, a few flowers, some snacks/beverages and a camera and head to the water. Paddle out into the water and form a circle with your boards. You can say a few words, read a poem, or simply have a moment of silence. Then toss your flowers into the water, and splash and cheer in celebration. Paddle back to the beach and enjoy an ice cold beverage!


If you aren’t up for paddling out, you can participate from the beach by tossing your flower into the water from ashore. 

For all of the REF supporters who don’t live on the coast but want to participate, it’s time to get creative!

  • Plant a flower
  • Find a river, lake, stream or pond where you can toss a flower
  • Gather with those you love and make a toast to River
  • Come up with your own idea! We know you have some great ideas and we want to see them. Any idea you have to honor and celebrate River is welcomed and appreciated, even if it has nothing to do with a Paddle Out!

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS! We’ll be sure to share to our social media pages so we can continue to spread some light and positivity in hopes for a collective sunrise for all of us. You can email us, or tag us on social media with the handle @theriverellisfoundation or the hashtag #GiveASunrise.

If you’re unable to participate this year but want to show your support through a donation, please click here.

We look forward to paddling out with you in person next year.