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    Four-year-old Luca Delle Palme acted as an anchor for his grandfather Darryll Luesby. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Trish Stolte arrives at the beach. Her 12 km race was cut short due to the high winds. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)



SUP enthusiasts Stand Up for CHEO

Community News

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2016

Stand Up for CHEO has raised about $30,488 in 2016, courtesy of its events in Ottawa, Kingston and Petawawa.

Since 2010, the event put more than $100,000 into the coffers of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). This is the third year it has been hosted locally, and it attracted 75 participants to the Ottawa River, many of whom saw the charitable event as the perfect way to wrap up the Upper Ottawa River Race and Paddle Festival.

“It has been a great event, it has been growing every year,” said co-organizer Anne-Claude Schellenberg. “It is very successful.”

Even with a clear sky and warm sun, the wind did play havoc with the paddlers. It pushed against them as they tried returning to shore, causing some of them to take a dip into the river. The 5 km and 12 km racers became a clustered group as the wind caused everyone to merge together.

Trish Stolte from Ottawa was a little worried that some of her fellow paddlers wouldn’t make it back to the Petawawa Point beach without help. She admits that even as a very experienced paddler, she had some issues on the way back.

“When it got too windy, I had to come across on my knees,” she said.

Despite this added challenge, she loved the experience, citing, “it was beautiful out there.”

This was echoed by other participants, including nine-year-old Jacob Delle Palme, also from Ottawa. It was the second time he took part in Stand Up for CHEO, and it proved to be just as fun as the last time.

“I loved all of it,” he said.

The money collected from the trio of events will help young people like him. This year, it was earmarked for research on prognosticators of post-concussive symptoms. It will help CHEO’s Dr. Roger Zemek with his studies to determine whether it is better for concussion patients to remain gently active or if the traditional recommendation of resting still applies.

The hospital is near and dear to Schellenberg’s heart. Her husband and the event’s co-founder Duncan Keith’s son grew up with terrible allergies and spent much of his childhood in and out of CHEO being treated for that. The same was experienced by co-founder Mathew Hinther, who also suffered from severe asthma and allergies.

They decided that the paddle they started just for fun could be turned into something that would help the community at large.

Now it has blossomed into a popular event that not only provides critical funds to CHEO, but also brings together hundreds of people.

“It is wonderful,” said Schellenberg. “It really is great to see it growing every year.”

After the 5 km and 12 km races were completed, the paddlers and members of the community were invited to join in several other activities at Petawawa Point such as live music, bouncy castles, yoga, a celebrity fun SUP relay race, demonstrations and games.

For more information on Stand Up for CHEO, please visit standupforcheo.com.