Last fall I had the fortunate opportunity to take part in MEC Outdoor Nation‘s Think Outside summit, held at Toronto’s Evergreen Brickworks.
It was an inspiring weekend bringing together 50 brilliant young minds with new ideas and organizations designed to help get people outdoors. At the end of the weekend, participants were able to pitch their ideas for a chance at funding to bring their ideas to life. The results speak for themselves, as organizations such as Surf the Greats, Parkbus, Outdoor Studio, Love Your Greats and Chasing Sunrise have gotten a step ahead on their paths to success.
It was during this weekend I met Madeline Leblanc, an inspiring young stand up paddler and founder of On Board, a fundraiser for brain cancer research.
Madeline bought her first board and started paddling in 2012, after she fell in love with the sport at age ten.
The year prior, Madeline experienced the passing of two young women from brain cancer. Both women shared a legacy of giving back to their community and putting others first. Inspired by this, Madeline created ‘On Board’ – a 10km stand up paddle brain cancer fundraiser, held in the Welland Canal.
To date, On Board has raised over $15000. Amazing, right?
I was immediately touched by Madeline’s story, having lost a close childhood friend to brain cancer a number of years ago. His legacy continues through the Kris Starr Sanctuary in the Kawartha Lakes region. I knew I want to support Madeline in what little way I could through this blog.
With the success of last year’s event, Madeline has planned to paddle again this year. Her July 2nd event will also be honouring Dalton Jacques and McKenna Modler. Dalton Jacques was another young member of the Welland community who passed away due to cancer in March of 2016. McKenna Modler is a sixteen-year-old girl from Gananoque Ontario who still continues to fight brain cancer through her own fundraiser called ‘McKenna’s Dream’.
Want to Get On Board!?
On Sunday July 2, Madeline will be paddling 10km down the Welland Canal while encouraging others to join her. Last year over 100 people participated and Madeline would love to see even more this year!
On Board’s sponsor Ausmosis Board Works will be hosting a free SUP demo day, if people would like to try paddle boarding. There will be a free BBQ as well, along with extra On Board t-shirts that will be on sale for $20.
Madeline encourages anyone from beginner to expert paddling experience to join her on the canal to remember Lynn, Julia, Dalton Jacques and McKenna Modler.
Those who do not want to paddle are welcomed to go to the canal to watch and enjoy a fun summer day!
There is no registration fee or age limit, however Madeline would like those who want to paddle to wear a 2017 On Board shirt which can be ordered in advanced by contacting her.
Those who are interested in paddling must contact Madeline through the On Board Facebook page or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can’t attend but would like to support On Board? You can donate online.
Returning sponsors are Ausmosis Board Works, Impact Promotions Niagara, Miss Dars School of Dance, Surf the Greats, Vesuvius Canada, Brailey&Chambers Bookkeeping Services and Serianni Construction. New sponsors include Surf Dreams Canada, Jake Liota’s Landscaping, Wappa Paddleboards and Sport Chek.
All the best, Maddi! Wishing you another hugely successful event!
Wild and Found