Kayak for a Cure Comox Valley

Forty people made a difference in the fight against cancer at an event earlier this month in the Comox Valley.

ALL 30 PADDLERS in 25 Kayak for a Cure boats rafted together for a group picture.

Forty people made a difference in the fight against cancer at an event earlier this month in the Comox Valley.

The 2011 Kayak for a Cure Comox Valley was held at the marina adjacent to the Courtenay Airpark.

The weather started that Saturday morning drizzly and grey. As tents were set up, registration began, paddlers were fitted to boats, and coffees were shared; the skies began to clear and the sun made an appearance for the first time in four days. The weather forecast was for rain and winds, increasing throughout the day.

“Not ideal for a group comprised of a lot of novice paddlers,” said event organizer Blaine Brown. The decision was made to spend the day in the river instead of the exposed trip to Goose Spit and back as originally planned.

After a quick breakfast, lots of introductions and a safety briefing, 35 paddlers launched their kayaks into the Puntledge River. The trip began down river to the mouth of the estuary.

From the estuary, kayakers paddled up river under both 17th and Fifth street bridges. The sun came out and people were taking off the layers down to rash guards and T-shirts. The group made it up to just below the Condensory bridge, where they then turned around and made the return trip to the marina.

Once on shore, the barbecues were lit. Hungry and thirsty paddlers, guides and volunteers were satisfied with plenty of food and drink. Stories were shared, laughs were many and there were scores of smiles had.

“This event unites a dedicated group of people. People who paddle are passionate about this sport but more importantly, everyone who attends this event has a story of how they have been touched by cancer. They are passionate about finding a cure for this devastating disease,” said Brown.

Prizes were drawn while the final numbers were tallied. The event raised $19,133 towards the Canadian Cancer Society.

Plans are already being made for next year. To get involved, look for 2012 Kayak for a Cure Comox Valley information next spring or contact the Kayak for a Cure organization at www.kayakforacure.org.

— Kayak for a Cure Comox Valley

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