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Press Release

Paddle for the Polar Bears

June 17, 2014

Stand Up Paddleboarding Lesson Series Raises Funds for the Henry Vilas Zoo Arctic Passage Exhibit

Madison, Wis. — (JUNE 17, 2014) The fast-growing sport of stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is making waves (and raising funds!) on the waters of Lake Wingra at Wingra Park in Madison, Wisconsin with a total of eight introductory lesson sessions on June 29 and July 20, 2014.

This is the sixth year for the Paddleboard Specialists “Paddle for the Polar Bears” event, which raises funds for the Henry Vilas Zoo’s state-of-the-art Arctic Passage exhibit, a home for polar bears and seals. Hosted by Paddleboard Specialists and Wingra Boats, “Paddle for the Polar Bears” is all about having a good time while engaging in a fast-growing, simple-tolearn water sport.

“Give me 10 minutes and I’ll have you paddleboarding. It’s easy, fun, and it’s a great workout,” says Gary Stone, event organizer and owner of local outfitter Paddleboard Specialists. “The gear required is minimal: a board, paddle, leash and personal flotation device…and you’re off!”

Lynn Pawelski, community outreach director of the Henry Vilas Zoological Society, says, “Paddleboard Specialists has been an amazing partner for the Zoo over the past 6 years, introducing Zoo Friends to paddleboarding and raising much-needed funds to Bring the Bears Back to Madison. What a fantastic combination!”

Paddleboard Specialists donates fifty percent of each $30 lesson to the Henry Vilas Zoo.

Pre-registration is highly recommended as lessons fill up quickly; however, walk-in participants will be accommodated on a space-available basis. For more information or to register, visit

Paddleboard Specialists “Paddle for the Polar Bears” details:

Location: Wingra Park on Lake Wingra in Madison, Wis.

Dates: Sunday, June 29; Sunday, July 20

Time: Participants can select from lessons at 9:00 a.m.; 11:00 a.m.; 1:00 p.m.; 3:00 p.m.

Cost: $30 (includes equipment rental)

Since 1984, Gary Stone and Debbie Garten Stone have built their business around a passion for the water from the shores of Lake Mendota to the serious swells of Maui. A full-service retailer of paddleboarding and windsurfing gear based in Westport, Wis., Paddleboard Specialists and Isthmus Sailboards offer specialty equipment for enthusiasts both online and at a bricks-and-mortar location at 5495 Catfish Court, in Westport, Wis. For further information contact Gary Stone at 608.849.0600 or