First-Ever WNC Stand Up for Autism Paddleboard Race and Paddlefest to Raise Funds for Autism Society of North Carolina

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Two-day paddleboard event July 22-23 hosted by local businesses will support local Autism Society of North Carolina programs and help families.

Saturday is going to be a great day to be on the lake supporting a great cause!

Paddelboarders and water enthusiasts in WNC have an opportunity to show off their paddleboarding skills, explore a variety of watercraft options, and raise money to support the Autism Society of North Carolina July 22-23 at WNC’s inaugural Stand Up for Autism on Lake Julian, just outside of Asheville.

The two day event includes a Friday evening “Yacht Rock Party” at Wild Wing Café with live music, local brews, food, and prizes. The Saturday Stand Up for Autism race on a 3-mile course around scenic Lake Julian is open to experienced and amateur racers. At Saturday’s “Paddlefest,” attendees will have opportunities to try different types of watercraft. Fees apply for all events and discounted advance tickets are available online.

“Stand Up for Autism is a great opportunity for the community to come out and support the Autism Society of North Carolina,” said Dave McFarland, owner of Wild Wing Café. “Friday night, we will have a huge brew and ’cue Yacht Club Party with music. Saturday is going to be a great day to be on the lake supporting a great cause!”

Stand Up for Autism will support programs provided by the Autism Society of North Carolina through its Asheville office. The office provides education and training for parent and professionals, as well as skill building, employment supports, residential supports, and respite care for individuals with autism.

“We are excited to partner with Asheville businesses to bring this great event to the area,” said Tracey Sheriff, CEO of the Autism Society of North Carolina. “It’s wonderful to see the community come together to support the work we do in such a meaningful way. Particular thanks go to Diamond Brand, Buncombe County Parks and Rec, Prestige Subaru, and Wild Wing Café for their leadership in making this event happen. I look forward to seeing everyone at Lake Julian on July 23!”

The Friday evening kickoff party is 5-9 p.m. at Wild Wing Café. On Saturday morning, activities begin at 10 a.m. Entrants can pick up their information or register Friday night or Saturday morning. Paddlefest opens at 11 a.m. and the paddleboard race begins at 11:30.

To learn more about sponsoring or participating, please contact Mary Catherine Ward at mcward(at)autismsociety-nc(dot)org. To purchase tickets for any of the events, visit the event site.

About the Autism Society of North Carolina:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. A prevalence study by the CDC indicates as many as 1 in 59 8-year-old schoolchildren in North Carolina may be diagnosed with autism.
  • For more than 45 years, the Autism Society of North Carolina has worked to address areas of need and expand services for the autism community in North Carolina. ASNC works to directly improve the lives of individuals affected by autism by providing advocacy, education, and services.
  • For more information, call 1-800-442-2762 or visit

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