The Sunday Bladers


Chuck & Debbie's Party & Kayaking

to the Fireworks - 2017



Previous parties: 2004 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 |

                          2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2021 | 2022


Chuck and Debbie did it again with another wild and wonderful 4th of July Cookout and Kayaking to the Fireworks. Chuck had Rob G. helping him again and they kept an endless supply of delicious eats on the food table. Chuck had his usual slushy drinks and a mouth-watering beer on tap. Prior to going outside for the group picture, Mark and friends read us the Declaration of Independence. It took one almost back to July 4, 1776. Last but not least, we got almost all gathered together in Chuck & Debbie’s front yard and took the group picture. We had a lot of smiling faces to say the least. Unfortunately this year we had some rain and didn't get any good kayaking pictures.

Input from Chuck: - Thank you to all who attended our 4th of July party again this year. We had a great time with many old friends and some new ones as well. With most of us having to work the day before and after the 4th it was a smaller group this year, but the fun we had was not to be equaled!

We send a special thanks to Rob who again came early to help set up, cooked during the party, supplied all with glow in the dark bands so we knew who was with the group, helped keep everyone together on the water and stayed late washing the PFDs boats and paddles. Thank you Rob you are the best! A big thank you to Mark who continued the tradition of reading the Declaration of Independence and setting up the readers to do it. We feel it is important to remember why the 4th of July is a national holiday. It is not just an excuse to have a party but the birthday of our nation. We send a big thank you to our sponsors, Bill Jackson’s Shop for Adventure, Osprey Bay Kayaks, and Sweetwater Kayaks for their continued support and donation of their boats. Our biggest thank you is to all of you who attended and donated to the Guide Dog Foundation/Americas Vet Dogs. Because of your generosity, we raised $1000.00 cash and checks during the event. We still have some donations trickling in, as well as any online donations made are not counted in this total. So, while the total raised this year was down from last year the amount donated per person was higher! We thank you all for your generosity.

The party went off without a hitch with plenty of food and beverages for all. I never trust the weatherman and as always, he was wrong. Being Florida in July we know it is going to rain with thunder and lightning sometime during the day. While the forecast said early afternoon storms and clear in the evening. It was clear all day and just as we headed out to launch the storms rolled in with a fury. We got to the boat ramp in a deluge of rain and lightning. Everyone remained calm and patient (thank you all for that) and it blew over by 8:15PM. So, we were an hour late getting the boats on the water but we all worked together and launched quickly. Someone namely Chuck who was never a math major miscounted the number of boats needed so a quick trip back to our house by Pam and Wayne saved the day for the math challenged host! We had 5 experienced paddlers who brought up the rear and hauled but to join the group arriving just as the fireworks were scheduled to start. While due to the weather, the fireworks were delayed a half an hour so we still had time to socialize and enjoy each other’s company on the water. The Sunset and fireworks were spectacular as usual. We had an uneventful paddle back and help washing the equipment. A dip in the pool by the hosts and remaining guests and another successful 4th of July Kayak to the fireworks was in the books!

It was so much fun I think we should do it again next year! What do you think?

    - Chuck & Debbie Hietala

P.S. Here are links to the Guide Dog Foundation and Americas Vet Dogs if you want any information or still wish to make an online donation.

Guide Dog Foundation:
Americas Vet Dogs

If you want more info about our sponsors:
Bill Jacksons:
Osprey Bay Kayaks:
Sweetwater Kayaks:

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