Lido Paddle Project Invites the Community to Stand Up With Us

On March 27th, Lido Paddle Project is having its first FUN-raiser, outdoors, in a limited capacity. Literally, it is here to raise fun. It is NOT a gala, no asks/envelopes, there will be however some music, some magic, some kind company, and a sense of community as folks come together, albeit with distance, to Stand Up With Us for them.

The backdrop for this beautiful event is the lush green mountainside of The Ranch At Laguna Beach, aptly near the bright blue Pacific. One of the greatest benefits of paddling and kayaking, which makes it so effective for mental wellness, includes the water. Ocean stewardship is an initiative at LPP, and, Stand Up To Clean the Harbors are currently being planned with Surfrider OC.

Two wonderful community leaders will be speaking briefly in the tight 30 minute program led by emcee Ron Pringle. Both have beautiful endeavors to uplift and serve Laguna Beach.

The first is Rich German, one of Laguna Beach’s ocean conservationists who loves sharing his stand up paddle adventures with whales and dolphins through his videography. He (like LPP’s constituents) protects what he loves starting with the ocean and all its creatures. As a philanthropist, Rich is Lido Paddle Project’s Laguna Beach Ocean Leader volunteer, and founder of Project O.

Ann Marie McKay, our esteemed City Clerk, and Air Force Veteran shall share a few words on how paddling has affected her life. She is enjoying her new role where she serves as an ambassador to the citizens of Laguna Beach, and, is always happy to help in any way. Serving comes joyfully to Ann Marie after being a Captain in the Air Force. She moved West in 2002, to lead the team for the first stage of the Delta II rocket for the Space & Missile Systems Center. On a more personal basis, Ann Marie enjoys her Lido Paddle Project sessions in the Newport Bay.

Guests will meet the founders, Debra Kottke and Norman Rest. And, the event will be happily hosted by board member and leader of World Anthem Band, Ron Pringle. There shall be lots of fun surprises including Magic Castle magician, John Guastaferro performing at the VIP luncheon. As LPP promotes community, there are many ways to get involved in this hybrid-live streamed event. (Pre/post/live event volunteer, live/virtual guest attendance, underwriter, sponsor, inkind donor or to be a low income veterans/first responder host.) Early sponsors include Carol Lee of Compass Realty, The Ellingson Family of Laguna Beach, and Kimberly and Daryl Oswald of API Lending.

While many of us found some beautifiul silver linings and learnings this past year, circumstances were not as ‘relaxed at home’ for our every day heroes. From pandemic, to national unrest, riots through the night, raging wildfires, all wearing new personal protection gear, our brave first responders experienced pyschological hardships.

The majority of our veterans, who so selflessly chose to serve us, and thrive on community for health, became isolated and quarantined from their livelihoods with few offerings to safely gather. With all top of mind, Lido Paddle Project arrived this past year to help by offering respite and recreation, outdoors in an organically social distanced event. Stand Up With Us, on March 27th, is here to do the same as we all emerge brighter, and, healing, with hope from a historic past year.

Registration and more information can be found on the website: or by contacting CDO, Michelle Highberg, or, via phone: 949-813-7681.