In a month where paddlers will ply the waters to raise funds and awareness for Greater Victoria families, Oak Bay fittingly proclaimed September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
“Our children are our most precious resource and are truly valued by all peoples of British Columbia and Oak Bay,” reads the official proclamation.
The community is home to Paddle for Health, which supports kids and families across the south Island in their cancer journey.
Officially launched under the Paddle For Health title in 2014, the event supported the B.C. Childhood Cancer Parents Association. After that organization folded in 2016, within the year the Island Kids Cancer Association rose to fill the need supporting hundreds of kids and families on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
The annual Paddle for Health continues to support the Island Kids Cancer Association as it helps families navigate their experiences, connect with one another, and receive access to supportive resources such as financial assistance and mental health and wellness support. Programs also take into account that a childhood cancer diagnosis often impacts everyone including siblings and extended family members.
In 2021, Paddle For Health raised more than $30,000 for the Island Kids Cancer Association. With more than a week to go until the event, the fundraiser was beyond the three-quarters mark of its $20,000 target.
Paddle For Health returns to Willows Beach Sept. 10 with paddlers of all ages, and vessels, hitting the water at 9:45 a.m. for the cruise over to Gyro Beach in Saanich and back again. Paddlers are expected to land back in Oak Bay around 12:30 p.m.
Registration is a voluntary $50 donation, with awards for top fundraisers and team costumes.
Visit paddleforhealth.ca to register or donate.
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