Veterans and Volunteers Set to Kayak 50 miles from San Pedro to Catalina in Support of Homeless Veterans Impacted by COVID-19

For Immediate Release 10-06-20

Contact: Caroline Nazareno, Community Projects Coordinator Veterans Village of San Diego or 619-507-1549.

Concerned Citizens, Veterans and Volunteers Set to Kayak 50 miles from San Pedro to Catalina in Support of Homeless Veterans Impacted by COVID-19.

  • Community responds to local non-profit struggling to meet the growing needs of veterans facing homelessness and joblessness in a COVID economy
  • Volunteers attempt to raise $100,000 to support programs at Veterans Village of San Diego
  • Kayak event begins 10/21 and culminates in Catalina on 10/23
  • Event Page with detailed information can be found here:


    SAN DIEGO, CA – October 6, 2020: A small group of patriots, volunteers and veterans will participate in the first annual 50-mile, open ocean kayaking expedition from San Pedro to Catalina Island to raise $100,000 in support of programs at Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD). The non- profit has had to alter the way it provides services amid health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. The non-profit has struggled to reach hard to serve veterans and those most impacted by COVID-19 due to job loss, increased demand for social services and difficulty accessing treatment.

    Akilah Templeton, President and CEO of VVSD, says that it has been difficult to meet the demand for case management services and treatment services in an environment where face to face contact and group meetings are discouraged.

    “Telehealth requires equipment, more space, additional staffing, new systems and coordination, “she says. “We are doing what we can to make the adjustments so that needs don’t go unmet.”

    Alyce Fernebok, Board Chair for VVSD, and Marine Corps veteran, explained why the group decided to raise money to support the program by kayaking. “Our veterans have a demanding journey ahead of them as they work to overcome homelessness and other associated challenges. We put this event together to honor that experience by embarking on a demanding journey of our own. This is a difficult 50 miles with natural elements that are out of our control. Instead of planning a virtual gala event, we decided on real tired muscles, sweat and fatigue!!! We hope that the community will get behind us and follow our training, the event and help us raise money for our mission!”

    Six kayaks, one for each branch of service, will embark on this epic journey from San Pedro to Catalina with several stops at historic military sites along the way, ending in the town of Avalon, on October 23, 2020. Documentary filmmaker, Tim Powell, will memorialize the expedition on film with plans to produce a short that brings awareness to the unique challenges faced by veterans and homeless veterans. Supporters can follow livestreams of the event by logging on to the VVSD event page or by going to Instagram or Facebook and sharing the hashtag #VVSDKayak50.

    About Veterans Village of San Diego: Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD) has served all veterans since 1981 and is dedicated to “Leave No One Behind.” Each year, VVSD provides services to more than 3,000 military veterans throughout San Diego County. For more information, please visit our website at

    Follow Veterans Village of San Diego on social: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn

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