Three of the people invited to participate, Cody Kavanagh, Danny Rimes, and Matt Lando, are active and former members of the military‘s elite special operations forces. These men know what it means to serve their country and understand the importance of all that SOWF provides to the families of fallen soldiers. They were all extremely glad to donate their valuable time and participate in this project.
The final participant in the project was Maddeline Voas. Maddeline was one of the recipients of the aide provided by SOWF and understands, from first-hand experience, just how important the SOWF can be in time of need. Maddeline and her family have relied heavily on the SOWF for moral and financial support since her father was killed in Afghanistan five years ago. With the help and support of SOWF, Maddeline was able to attend college and graduated with a bachelors degree within 3 years. She is currently working towards her masters in Anthropology.
BOTE is proud to sponsor this project and provide an avenue to raise money for the SOWF so they can provide much needed support for families of fallen warriors. Since the Special Operations Headquarters for the military and Eglin Air Force Base is located so close to the BOTE headquarters in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, a lot of our customers are members of the military. This is one effort to show appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice of our nations military men and women.
BOTE‘s in-house paddle board production facility, dubbed The Darkroom, was the stage for paddle board production. The Darkroom‘s guru and head of board production, Pete Buzelli, carefully mentored each participant through a different phase of production as they worked to craft this one-of-kind paddle board. The board‘s shape is based on BOTE‘s flagship paddleboard, the HD, and is outfitted with custom Americana graphics representing a patriotic theme for this project.
Dan Rimes, Special Tactics Combat Controller USAF
The production for the board begins with a rough cut from a block of foam. This is done with the help of a CAD driven software application working in conjunction with a custom CNC machine which physically carves the rough shape out of the foam block. Once the rough shape is created, it has to be hand hewn into a smooth and functional shape. Danny was responsible for sanding the rough blank into its final shape in preparation for lamination. It's a messy process but he jumped right in.
Sgt Cody Kavenaugh, 7th Special Forces Group
Cody was responsible for applying the graphics, covering the board with fiberglass and adding a resin coating to the fiberglass. This step of the process is what gives the board its strength by bonding epoxy resin with fiberglass and allowing the resin to dry into a rock hard shell over the foam core.
Matt Lando, Special Tactics Combat Controller USAF
Once the resin has hardened the board must be sanded to a smooth finish and holes cut for inserts such as fin boxes and Tackle Rac receivers. Sanding is one the most difficult and time consuming parts of the process so Matt had his hands full.
Maddeline Voas, SOWF Aide Recipient
The final step to produce the paddle board is painting and finishing. For this we enlisted Maddeline Voas, one of the beneficiaries of the SOWF. This young lady is a living testament to the value that SOWF provide to the families of fallen soldiers and said she was proud to participate in this project. Fearless, Madeline jumped right into the process first taping off areas of the board to prevent overspray during the painting process. Then she put on the coveralls and went into the paint booth to put the final coat of paint on the board.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) is a top-rated nonprofit organization that supports the military‘s Special Operations Forces and their families through three programs:
SOWF has a low operating overhead of around 5.2%. Which means ~95% of all donation find there way to the people that need them most.
* ~7.8% of of the final auction amount will be used to cover credit card processing and auction management fees.