Head to the waters this July and take part in the Susan G. Komen Weekend on the Water event

COURTESY: KOMEN OREGON - Weekend on the Water will combine an inaugural Stand Up Paddleboard on July 23, with the traditional Row for the Cure at Vancouver Lake on July 24.A new event is scheduled for this summer that will benefit breast cancer research. Actually, it’s a combination of events to help Susan G. Komen of Oregon and Southwest Washington find a cure for the disease.

On the weekend of July 23-24, “Weekend on the Water” will combine an inaugural Stand Up Paddleboard (Saturday) with the traditional Row for the Cure at Vancouver Lake (Sunday).

Kathy Frederick, founder, national executive director and president of Row for the Cure, is looking forward to the combined event, known as WOW.

Vancouver Lake “is known locally, and known nationally, as a premium venue for paddling and rowing races,” she said. “This is our 23rd year. We started on the Willamette River. We started with about a dozen boats and raised about $1,500 and everybody had a great time. It kind of grew from there. Now we’re a national organization.”

Frederick said Row for the Cure attracts teams and individuals from through the Pacific Northwest. The event will include racing shells, dragon boats, outrigger canoes and kayaks.

“We’ll be celebrating our (breast cancer) survivors and we’ll be remembering family and friends that have passed away (from breast cancer),” Frederick said. “We’ll have education there about breast cancer issues. There will be lots of activities for families. It’s really going to be a celebration and a lot of fun.”

Frederick expects a healthy turnout for the Vancouver Lake event. “This is our first year of doing it this way, on Vancouver Lake, so I would not be surprised if we have more this year than we’ve had in previous years,” Frederick said. “Our top numbers in the past have been around 600 participants, so I would expect we’re going to go over 600.”

Frederick said all money raised through corporate sponsorships and individual donations go to Susan G. Komen of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

“They use the money for cutting edge research for cures for breast cancer,” Frederick said, noting money helps in other ways, including programs to support breast cancer patients.

Ann Berryman, director of development and communications at Susan G. Komen Oregon and Southwest Washington, said, “Stand Up Paddleboarding (which will be held at the Willamette Sailing Club) has become this wild phenomenon in Oregon, and really anywhere where there is a good body of water. It affords people the opportunity to get out and enjoy nature. It’s sort of a takeoff on surfing.”

If you’re not familiar with Stand Up Paddleboard, paddleboards can be up to 14 feet in size. “It’s really built around keeping a person on top of the water, with a paddle, and you just basically make paddle motions,” Berryman said.

Speaking about the combined event, Berryman added, “People are looking for outdoor activities and want to be engaged in the community in some way, have some fun and get some exercise. We decided to call it WOW and have two fun-filled days with people, family, friends and colleagues.”

At Stand Up Paddleboard, you can enjoy a live D.J., lunch and beverages. “We plan to have some fun,” Berryman said. “WOW is going to be a great event. We want to make it a big deal.”

Sixty-three woman are diagnosed with breast cancer every week and 11 will die from breast cancer every week (in this region). WOW is an event to help fight breast cancer, but Berryman said it’s also a way to stay fit, healthy and be a part of the community.

Early registration started April 7. To register for WOW, make a donation or sign up to be a volunteer, visit

Frederick is also excited about the WOW event in July. “Each year, I get all wound up and excited about it. I think it’s just a great opportunity for the water community to work together and fight breast cancer.”


Specific event details and registration for WOW are available at:

Early sign ups are encouraged with a discounted fee of $39 which is in effect through May 31. All participants are encouraged to add a $25 donation to further the important work of education, early detection, treatment access and research to cure breast cancer.

Scott Keith is a freelance writer for the Portland Tribune and Pamplin Media Group. If you have a health tip, or a story idea, contact Scott at [email protected]com.

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