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PHOTOS: Paddlers set out from Oak Bay in support of kids fighting cancer

The 2023 Paddle for Health has raised more than $20K for the Island Kids Cancer Association

Dozens of paddlers set out on kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards Saturday (Sept. 9) as the annual Paddle for Health fundraiser returned to the waters off Oak Bay and Saanich.

Since 2014 the event has been raising funds for the Island Kids Cancer Association, and this year’s event had already exceeded its $20,000 fundraising goal before the paddlers hit the water.

And in the tradition of the event, when they did hit the water, many of the paddlers were dressed up in the wackiest costumes they could come up with.

There were disco-themed standup paddle boards complete with miniature disco balls, bright yellow sunflower costumes, and even the Powerpuff Girls trio of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup sharing a canoe.

Paddlers set off from Willows Beach, following the shoreline past Cattle Point and into Caddy Bay. Traditionally, they would land at Gyro Park Beach for a snack and stretch break, but this year they remained on the water, rendezvousing with a large canoe filled with snacks due to bacteria levels on the beach before returning to Willows Beach.

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Justin Samanski-Langille

About the Author: Justin Samanski-Langille

I moved coast-to-coast to discover and share the stories of the West Shore, joining Black Press in 2021 after four years as a reporter in New Brunswick.
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