Cadence Turns 20: Sponsoring Disabled Athletes for Adaptive Water Sports
For many, surfing is the ultimate escape. For others, like wheelchair bound Charles Webb, it is the ultimate therapy. We turned to our travel partnerships to help him compete in the opportunity of a lifetime: Duke's OceanFest in Hawaii.
The story begins with Melanie, a Meetings & Incentives client of ours who is in the beginning stages of founding a non-profit organization for adaptive water sports set to launch in 2016. She introduced us to a good friend recently featured in the A Human Project series:
After Charles's tragic car accident, the life, job and family he once loved was overshadowed by years of painful drug addictions. In effort to grasp onto something meaningful (and despite his disability), he turned to water sports. The moment he hit the beach and traded his wheelchair for a paddle board, he was overwhelmed with support from strangers and even called an inspiration by his hero. It was a day that would change his perspective on life forever.
"You're going to find people in life who believe in you, that are not ever going to give up on you… Who will try to lift you up to obtain that goal," said Charles. "My role, I feel, is that I can touch people with inspiration, with the ability to overcome fear and obstacles… And to show people you don't have to be scared to be who you are."
With the opportunity for another life changing experience quickly approaching, we wanted to lift Charles up. After Melanie's company sponsored his flight for Duke's Adaptive Surf Competition this August, she asked if we were up for the challenge of finding an accessible hotel room for five nights as close to the competition as possible due to Charles's limited mobility. We reached out to our partners at Marriott and they generously sponsored his entire stay at their Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.
On behalf of our entire team at Cadence, we thank our incredible client Melanie for allowing us the opportunity to pay it forward, Marriott for being the kind of partner that helps us move mountains, and lastly, Charles, for inspiring us with his courage.
You can watch Charles on his surf journey here!
Click here for more happenings on our Cadence Turns Twenty: Paying it Forward campaign.