Witches take to the waters to raise money for sexual assault survivors

Lake Mohawk. Instructor Dodie Guardia, who brought the first Witches Paddle to Lake Mohawk, encourages women to take risks and overcome fears through stand-up paddleboarding.

| 29 Sep 2020 | 04:19

Forty women dressed as witches paddled Lake Mohawk to raise money for DASI (Domestic Abuse Sexual Assault Intervention of Newton).

The first annual Witches Paddle of Lake Mohawk was on Sept. 26, and will return next year because of its success. Dodie Guardia, a certified stand-up paddleboard (SUP), yoga, and PaddleFit instructor, and owner of Brighter Than the Sun SUP, brought this new event to the community. It raised $2,100 for DASI, which helps survivors feel safe and make informed decisions from a place of peace, not fear.

Guardia encourages women to take risks and overcome fears through stand-up paddleboarding. She has built a confident and safe SUP community at Lake Mohawk, as she inspires women to find their inner strength out on their paddleboards.

“One of the most difficult decisions we can make in life is the decision to act,” Guardia said in explaining why should chose DASI as the event’s beneficiary. “When these women act either to protect their children, or to protect themselves, they have already shown so much courage.”

Co-host Susan Parnell said “I’ve never been prouder of our lake community. Residents of Lake Mohawk lined the shores and docks while cheering on the cackling paddling witches as they made their way down to Lake Mohawk Country Club, where they were greeted by family and friends on the seasonally decorated beach. John Stanley, GM of Lake Mohawk Country Club lead a costume contest, announcing Amy Titus of Lake Mohawk as the winner. It was truly a spectacle to see.”

Without their support, this event would not have been possible:
Susan Parnell, co-host and marketing
Wendy Selander, Wendy Jean Photography,
Lake Mohawk Country Club
John Stanley and Deb Graybill
Lake Mohawk Boardwalk Club
Greg Case and Amber McKenna
Beach 5
Marlene Tedeschi and Eileen Hickey
Lake Mohawk House Committee
White Deer Inn
Mancuso’s Salon & Spa
Front Porch Organics
Beciga Café
Pierrot Greene Beans
Sparta Books
Nutty Over Sweets
Brighter Than the Sun