Mooresville man embarking on a solo paddleboard trip across Gulf Stream

MOORESVILLE – Gabe Barajas and Troy Gagliardo are on the verge of tackling personal physical challenges to benefit others.

In June, Barajas, a member at Mooresville’s Planet Fitness facility, will begin an 80-mile solo paddleboard trip across the Gulf Stream, from Bimini in the Bahamas back to the Florida mainland, to raise money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. Planet Fitness is sponsoring Barajas’ venture.

He will be participating in Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis, an annual event raising money and awareness for those living with the terminal lung disease. The event was inspired by the health benefits of the ocean for those living with CF.

Barajas has been training for his trip at the local Planet Fitness and those interested in learning more or contributing to his efforts can visit

Gagliardo, a Mooresville native, accomplished chef and the owner of Motown Spice Provisions, has committed to a different task. 

Joining Dale Jr. Foundation efforts supporting Mooresville-based FeedNC, Gagliardo has pledged to run a half-Ironman – a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run – in less than eight hours, 30 minutes to raise money for Mimi’s Garden at the under-construction FeedNC facility.

Mimi’s Garden was founded by The Dale Jr. Foundation to honor Brenda Jackson, mother of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller. Gagliardo’s quest has been dubbed “Miles for Mimi’s Garden” and money raised will support Mimi’s Garden’s goal to provide fresh and healthy food for FeedNC to share.

Details about the agencies can be found at and, and information and ways to donate to Gagliardo’s project can be found at

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