Our longtime senior editor Matt Kettmann stepped away from his laptop this past weekend to join the 20th anniversary of the Friendship Paddle, this time raising money and support for his close friend, the popular plein air artist Chris Potter, who is fighting a rare and aggressive cancer. It was Matt’s second time on the paddle — the first was in 2016, to support longtime Indy writer Ethan Stewart, who is doing well and was also out there this weekend.
How’d the day go? Sunday was like a dream, almost lake-like conditions and warm water, in between a rough Saturday swell and the weird rainbows and rains of Monday morning. That made paddling relatively easy and kept everyone in positive spirits. There was a brief shark situation that forced a few people out of the water, but then that was quickly forgotten.
How much money did the event raise? We raised more than $200,000 for the Potters to deal with the challenges to come.
How did Chris react? Chris was beaming the whole time. There’s a real magic with this event that seems to transcend our surface understanding of this world, and he was certainly tapped into that. He gave a heartfelt, moving, and genuine speech at the end. I had tears dripping on my chest.