SIESTA KEY, Fla. -
When lifeguards Robert Martini and Brad Ward are not protecting the visitors of Siesta Beach they spend their time in the water.
"I've been paddling for over 10 years," said Martini
Both are avid paddleboarders and they both have traveled the world to compete in races.
But, on October 13th both will attempt something new for the first time.
They plan to do a 24 hour stand up paddleboard paddle to raise money for the local YMCA Youth Shelter.
" They are going to be the doers the changers and the motivators that will make the world a better place to stay," said Martini.
The shelter provides kids in rough situations a temporary place to call home. These lifeguards want to raise enough money to buy the kids a new bus, clothes and toys.
"These kids have no place to go and the YMCA youth shelter is what is here to help out these kids. Even though it's just a temporary basis its some type of normalcy for them," said Martini.
When he asked his fellow lifeguard and friend about joining the 24 hour paddle, Ward said he couldn't turn him down.
"Making a big difference is what changes and makes this world a better place," said Ward.
Martini feels connected to these kids.
He said when he was younger his dad's business went under, his mom lost her job and his family became homeless. They lived out of their car. At the time his mom was pregnant with his brother.
"It was a good life changing event and it made me want to do what I do today. I want to make sure people are safe and I will do whatever it takes to make them safe," said Martini .
His family got back on their feet, a few weeks later, but he never forgot the experience.
"The things that they've gone through and suffered and what I had to go through. I just want them to know I will be thinking about them because they are the main focus," he said.
Their paddle will loop around the four mile Siesta Triangle and continue for one whole day.
The paddle will take place on October 13th and continue until October 14th.
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