Fantastic Friends of WNY hosts first Special Paddle event

BLASDELL, N.Y. (WIVB) — Fantastic Friends of Western New York took to Woodlawn Beach Sunday, for its first Special Paddle event.

Volunteers were paired with teens with special needs, for a fun one-on-one lesson on kayaking, paddle boarding and other beach games.

Organizers with Fantastic Friends of Western New York say the event is a way to help teens with special needs socialize and make life-long connections.

“It’s very challenging sometimes socially to have a meaningful place where you can feel welcome and supported for everything that you are and that’s the biggest challenge,” said founder Marissa Hacker. “Coming to Fantastic Friends and meeting these new friends and also learning how to physically move is very good.”

The not-for-profit organization hosts monthly social functions for members and volunteers around Western New York. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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