Community Partnerships Award
The purpose of this award is to recognize excellence in individuals or groups that hold Community Partnership events which are independent of our Society-led initiatives. These proud supporters organize and manage their own events raising important funds for cancer research and the Society's programs and services.
- Event has occured for a minimum of two consecutive years
- Raised $5,000 in revenue or more per year
- Event organizer has demonstrated sound fundraising practices
- Demonstrated commitment to enhancing the event year after year
Organizer Kevin Dionne founded this event in 2000, to honour both his mother's and father-in-law's strength through their battles with cancer. Ron Lachance, Kevin's father-in-law, lost his battle with cancer in November 2007.
In year one, 13 immediate family members and close friends pushed off from Kingston to Ottawa, and raised $25,000.00. Year eight welcomed 35 kayakers, all with their own personal reasons for participating, and raised over $35,000.00. The event which has taken place during the second week of August every year has raised over $230,000.00.
What makes the event so special
Over the years, Kevin Dionne has invited more people to participate, more sponsors to take part, and has made donating easier by allowing people to donate online, year-round, through the Kayaking for Cancer website. The event continues to gain momentum and most years there is a waiting list of people who want to participate.
Something unique about this event is that it doesn't look to big corporations for sponsorship. The kayaks are loaned through a family run kayak business and local grocery stores have been generous with supplies of food and other goodies. A car agency provides a van, and the organizing committee and ground crew volunteer their time to make the trip a success.
Kayaking for Cancer is so well known, that during the trip, other boaters and people along the way greet the group with contributions.
The trip isn't a race, and while there are some excellent athletes, everyone understands it's about the journey. They work as a team, and work hard. In addition to the kayakers themselves, there is a large ground crew dedicated to preparing and serving meals, as well as setting up and tearing down tents for the group every night over the 8-day excursion.
Presented by Beth Dimsdale
Canadian Cancer Society
August 14, 2009