Four years later, twenty-year- old Madeline Leblanc has continued to turn her
passion of stand up paddle boarding into a fundraiser to honour two friends lost to
cancer. Madeline bought her first board and started paddling in 2012, after she fell
in love with the sport at age ten. In 2011 Julia Turner passed away at fifteen due to a
brain tumor, and earlier that same year Lynn Lambert passed at thirty-seven. They
were two wonderful people that deserve to be remembered because of their legacy’s
they left behind. They were always giving back to others in the community and
putting others needs before theirs. They both taught all of Welland to treasure every
moment of your life, and dedicate yourself to helping others when you can.
As a result of the young girls passing’s Madeline created ‘On Board’ where
she paddled 10km on July 10 th 2014 down the Welland Canal in a little over two
hours to raise funds for brain cancer research. Madeline raised a grand total of
$4013.05 her first year hosting On Board to hand into the Canadian Cancer Society.
Creating On Board was her way of saying goodbye to Julia and Lynn, and also her
way of giving back to the cancer community. The impact this event has left on
Madeline has driven her to run this event again for a fourth year in a row with
raising over $15,000 to date.
With the success of last year’s event, which took place on July 14 th for the
third time, Madeline has planned to paddle again this year. One big special change
for On Board this year is that Madeline will also be honouring Dalton Jacques and
McKenna Modler at the event. Dalton Jacques was another young member of the
Welland community who passed away too soon 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’. On Sunday July 2 nd 2017 Madeline will be paddling 10km down the Welland
Canal while encouraging others to join her. At 2pm the paddling journey will start at
the Pen Financial Credit Union Flatwater Centre at the end of Thorold Rd. From
there paddlers will paddle to the Welland International Flatwater Centre, then
turnaround and head back to the Pen Financial Credit Union Flatwater Centre. At
the starting point one of On Board’s sponsors 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. Last year
over 100 people came out, and Madeline would love to see even more this year!
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 are interested in paddling must contact Madeline through email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/maddisrideonboard. 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. Paddlers will meet
at 1:30 where they are encouraged to bring a kayak, canoe, or SUP board as well as a
personal flotation device such as a lifejacket. There will also be limited boards
available to rent provided by the Welland Recreational Canal Corporation. At 2pm
the paddle will start and will take approximately 1-2 hours. Afterwards participates
are welcomed to grab food, take photos, swim and socialize. This event is a great
way to get some exercise while trying something new!
Those who do not want to paddle are welcomed to come to the canal to
watch and enjoy a fun summer day! To donate you may directly donate by cash or
check to Madeline (checks can be made out to the ‘Canadian Cancer Society’) or to
donate online please follow the link:
This is a safe secure website where the money goes straight to the Canadian Cancer
Society. There will also be a huge donation jar on display on the 2 nd for cash
donations. 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. The fundraising goal for this year is $7000, so come on out on Sunday
July 2 nd to remember two wonderful people by paddling and having fun! GET ON