The Birth of the Crossing Challenge Coin

In addition to its mission to support the cystic fibrosis community, Piper’s Angels makes an effort to hold the space for an inclusive community that inspires its members to open themselves up to what it truly means to show up for each other and for themselves. This is why we love to engender customs that symbolize the camaraderie and fearlessness of the Crossing  like our new Crossing For Cystic FIbrosis challenge coins. The Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis challenge coin is the brainchild of 3X Crossing Crusader and Top Fundraiser Award recipient from the 2018 Crossing, police officer Josh Ferris of Marco Island.  Having met Piper’s Angel’s founder Travis Suit at a Jimmy Buffet concert, Josh has been a long time and loyal friend of 12 years as well as an integral figure in the Crossing culture from early on.

Josh talks about how he came up with the idea and the significance of challenge coins to the culture of a community.

“The challenge coin was first introduced to me by a close friend and mentor of mine who is a retired Command Sgt. Major in the US Army. This CSM was someone who I highly revered and the coin that was given made me realize that he held me in high regard. To receive a coin like this takes honor, courage and means that you are now part of a club. I decided to introduce this idea to the PAF with hopes to bring yet another sense of appreciation for all of the hard work done by the Crossing Crusader’s. 

I believe that giving this token of appreciation to those who made it happen will create a strong sense of family that will help carry all of us to the next level. The Challenge coin can be used to challenge others, show pride in your accomplishments or simply carry around an important token of love and family that no one can take away from you. The X4CF challenge coins are something that I am truly honored to receive. I will take pride in the coins and use them to promote the positive and challenge others to do the same!”

To receive a coin like this takes honor, courage and means that you are now part of a club.

Josh ferris


Travis shares his perspective on the journey of the Crossing. 

“It’s apparent reflecting back on the Crossing that it was a self-imposed rite of passage I created for my own coping and healing after Piper’s diagnosis with cystic fibrosis.  As a rite of passage, it initiated me into my own journey of finding a way to see Piper’s diagnosis as a gift that could bring so much love to our family and community.  It’s been amazing to see how the challenge of the Crossing continues to be deeply meaningful and transformative for so many others.  I believe these Crossing challenge coins are a way of honoring the hero’s journey.”


Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis Challenge Coin
Crossing For Cystic Fibrosis Challenge Coin

What’s really cool about challenge coins is how they bring a dynamic interaction into the community.

  1. First and foremost, the challenge coins are a token of appreciation and means of expressing gratitude for the bold commitment people have made to take on the Crossing and help contribute to the cystic fibrosis community. 
  2. Second, the challenge coins can be used to inspire others by challenging them to participate in the Crossing. If you’re looking to challenge someone to do the crossing, the coin is exchanged for their commitment, until they have earned their own.
  3. The challenge coins can be used for fun in a social setting to do ‘coin checks’, where a coin carrying person can spontaneously present their coin on the table at a bar or restaurant where there are others who have participated in the Crossing, and the person or persons who don’t have their coin on them has to buy the next round of drinks or appetizers. 
  4. There are specific coins for paddlers, captains and crew.
  5. Anyone who has completed the challenge shore to shore without getting on a boat also receives a special Iron Crusader coin.

We’ve ordered Crossing challenge coins for all past participants to receive them, as well as future participants.  

We are truly looking forward to getting them in everyone’s hands soon!

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