The River Ellis Foundation will be hosting our Launch Party & Annual Paddle Out on

Sunday, September 15th 2-5pm at The Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum.

Here’s what the event is all about

This invitation-only event will serve as the kick-off celebration for The River Ellis Foundation. Come in your beachwear or casual attire, have some beer & bites to eat and celebrate with us! We’ll tell you all about why we decided to start the River Ellis Foundation, our mission and the positive impact it will have on the Hampton Roads community. We have our fingers crossed for great weather, but the party will go on rain or shine!

The Paddle Out will take place at 4:30 and will be held on the beach directly in front of The Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum. All attendees are welcome and encouraged to participate in this optional Paddle Out event (walk down to the water and join in from the beach if you don’t want to get wet!) All those who wish to paddle out are asked to bring their own board. There will be someone ready to help you unload your board at the museum if you want to drop it off before you park your car, and there will be a safe place for boards to be kept during the party. *This part of the event is weather dependent.

The museum is located on the boardwalk on 24th Street. Parking is limited, so please plan accordingly.  Please don’t forget to RSVP!

The significance of the Paddle Out

Paddle Outs are a time-honored tradition by those with an ocean-centered lifestyle dating back to Hawaiian burial rituals. Last September, River’s ashes were scattered in the water during a Paddle Out ceremony surrounding by loving friends, family, neighbors and community members. Our hope is to continue the Paddle Out tradition as a way of honoring and celebrating her life in conjunction with her birthday each September. This will also be used as a time to recognize and honor those in our community whose lives have been positively impacted by The River Ellis Foundation.

Our fundraising goals

We have a fundraising goal of $200,000 so we can begin our mission of giving a sunrise to those in our community who need it the most. We’ll be accepting donations at this event, but please feel free to make a contribution through our website beforehand if you’d prefer/can’t make it. There is no dollar amount too small, we are beyond thankful for all of your support!

We can’t wait to see you there.

Have questions? Contact Rachel at