Paddle For Privates: A Paddling Parade For Cancer

Standup paddling super heroes, witches and ghouls headed out to Newport Dunes in Newport Beach, Calif. on Saturday for the Third Annual Paddle for Privates. The paddle parade event, which focuses on fundraising for "private part" cancers (including prostate, ovarian and breast cancer), drew in more than 150 standup paddlers who took to the water dressed in their favorite costumes.

The fundraising paddle was a hit for the third year in a row, with more than $14,000 raised just in the weeks leading up to the event. Paddlers formed fundraising teams prior to the event and competed for various prizes, with proceeds from the paddle parade benefitting the Athletes for Cancer fund, which hosts outdoor camps for cancer survivors with activities like biking and paddling.

Event participants paddled 4.5 miles from the Back Bay to Lido Island in nearly perfect autumn conditions. The parade of paddlers stopped for lunch on Lido Island before heading back to the Dunes for a post-paddle party on the beach, complete with live tunes by DJ Andy and more fun on the water with an SUP jousting contest.

Paddle For Privates creator Mandy McDonnell, who generated the idea for the event after her father was diagnosed with prostate cancer during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, was excited about Saturday's showing, as the event isn't just about fundraising, but also about getting cancer survivors outdoors and enjoying life.
"It’s been amazing to hear from all these wonderful people I’ve met who contact me and say how standup paddling has changed their lives," McDonnell told The OC Register. "It’s so exciting for me to be able to give that to them, and to be able to help them grow and thrive,” she added. — SC

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To donate or find out more, visit: PaddleForPrivates