On Board paddling fundraiser set to mark fifth year

Madeline Leblanc will be returning to the Welland Recreational Canal for her fifth year for On Board, a paddling fundraiser for brain cancer research. On Board photo

It started as a simple idea to raise money in honour of two friends lost to cancer. Now, five years later, the On Board paddling event launched by Madeline Leblanc returns to the Welland Recreational Canal Sunday, July 15/2018.

Leblanc, 21, first fell in love with the sport of stand up paddleboarding at the age of 10 and bought her first board in 2012. Two years later, she launched the On Board event in memory of her two friends who had died of cancer – Julia Turner, who died at the age of 15 and Lynn Lambert, who died at 37.

“They were two wonderful people who deserve to be remembered because of the legacies they left on the City of Welland,” says Leblanc. “They were always giving back to others in the community and putting others needs before theirs. They taught Welland to treasure every moment of life, and dedicate yourself to helping others when you can.”

The first On Board was on July 10, 2014, when Leblanc paddled 10 km in just over two hours to raise awareness and more than $4,000 for brain cancer research.

“Creating On Board was my way of saying goodbye to Julia and Lynn and a way to giving back to the cancer community,” Leblanc says.

The impact that first event left on Leblanc has driven her to run it year after year, raising more than $23,000 in its first four years.

For the fifth edition this July, Leblanc will honour Dalton Jacques and McKenna Modler at the event.

“Dalton was another young member of the Welland community who passed away too soon due to cancer in March 2016 and McKenna is a 17-year-old girl from Gananoque who still continues to fight brain cancer through her own fundraiser called ‘McKenna’s Dream,’” says Leblanc.

The 2018 On Board event will start at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 15 from Pen Financial Credit Union Flatwater Centre located at the end of Thorold Road East in Welland. Leblanc and the rest of the paddlers will paddle to the Lincoln Street Bridge, then turn around and head back to the start. The journey is expected to take between one and two hours, depending on paddling experience.

Last year more than 200 people including some 50 paddlers took part and Leblanc is hoping to see that number increase for Year 5.

Anyone from beginners to expert paddlers are encouraged to join her on the canal to remember Lynn, Julia, Dalton and McKenna. Those who are interested in paddling must contact Madeline through email at madeline.leblanc17@hotmail.com or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/maddisrideonboard. There is no registration fee or age limit, however Madeline would like those who want to paddle to wear a 2018 On Board shirt which can be ordered in advanced by contacting her.

Paddlers will meet at 9 a.m. where they are encouraged to first register, then bring a kayak, canoe, or SUP board as well as a personal flotation device such as a lifejacket. To pre-register online, visit paddleguru.com/races/OnBoard2018. There will also be limited boards available to rent provided by Fearless Females and Starboard SUP North America.

On Board sponsor Ausmosis Board Works will be hosting a free SUP demo day at the event, and starting at 2 p.m. the Ontario SUP Series will be hosting SUP races, which are open to anyone. Registration can be found on the Ontario SUP Series website .

Throughout the day, Lululemon Niagara will also be hosting yoga on the shoreline for anyone who would like to relax and stretch. There will be a free BBQ sponsored by Mr. Mikes Welland, along with extra On Board T-shirts on sale for $20.

After the paddle, participates are welcomed to grab lunch, take photos, swim and socialize. This event is a great way to get some exercise while trying something new! At the end of the day, participants are welcomed to come back to Mr. Mikes Steakhouse Casual for dinner and entertainment provided by The Hot Tamales and Revive the Rose.

Those who do not want to paddle are welcomed to come to the canal to watch and enjoy a fun summer day. Donations will be accepted by cash or cheque made out to Canadian Cancer Society, or directly online through the Canadian Cancer Society website here.

Returning sponsors are Ausmosis Board Works, Impact Promotions Niagara, Miss Dars School of Dance, Surf the Greats, Paddle Niagara, Wappa Paddleboards, WhaSUP, Surf Ontario, Vesuvius Canada, Jake’s Landscaping, and Serianni Construction. New sponsors include Starboard SUP, Snareguy Records, Precision Roofing, Timberline Landscape Contractors, Jimmy Lewis Canada, Infinity SUP Canada and Mr. Mikes Steakhouse Casual Welland.

The fundraising goal for this year is $10,000, so come on out on Sunday, July 15 to honour four wonderful people by paddling and having fun. GET ON BOARD!

  • WHAT: On Board Cancer Fundraiser 2018
  • WHERE: Pen Financial Credit Union Flatwater Centre, 108 Thorold Rd East.
  • WHO: Madeline Leblanc and anyone who cares to join in
  • WHEN: Sunday, July 15, 2018, 10 a.m.
  • REGISTRATION: paddleguru.com/races/OnBoard2018

Source – On Board press release

 


 

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