Competitors are training and raising funds for the 11th annual Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation Paddle For A Cause presented by Curexa and in memory and honor of Karen Grant.  Racers will compete for their share of more than $5,000 in prize money.

Paddleboarders and rowers from around the world will participate in various events throughout the waterways Saturday, June 9  at Golden Nugget Atlantic City. There are 4-mile and 8-mile fun paddles that navigate the back bays to The Wonder Bar.

The marquee event is the 22.5-mile race around Absecon Island, which draws paddleboarding and rowing competitors from around the world and offers prizes for men’s and women’s prone and stand-up paddleboarding divisions.  Paddleboarding teams can also complete the 22.5-mile as a relay and an open division welcomes all kayaks, outrigger canoe, surf ski and lifeguard boats in solo race and team relay formats.

The course was designed to challenge racers as a reminder that they are helping people struggling with cancer. Registration is now open. There is also a virtual paddling event for those who want to take part in the event without getting wet.

All paddlers and virtual paddlers are required to fundraise $200 to participate with proceeds benefiting the foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides grants to financially assist people with cancer. Virtual paddlers who raise the minimum $200 entry fee will receive a swag bag, entry into the after party and race gear that is provided to all paddlers.

This year, the event will be dedicated to the memory of Karen Grant who passed away this April. Grant was a recipient of the generosity of the Foundation in 2013 when she was diagnosed with Primary Peritoneal Cancer. She said wanted to give back to the DRCF once she was healthy enough to contribute. She became a board member shortly after a was the top fundraiser at last year’s Paddle For A Cause.

“She was so committed and passionate with what was a priority in her life, one of which was obviously the DRCF, as she served as one of the most dedicated members on our board up until this dreadful disease took her life,” said foundation president Mark Zappone.

Last year, more than 120 participants helped the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation surpass its $100,000 goal by $10,000. Prize money will be awarded in each of the following categories: men’s and women’s 14-foot and less stand-up paddleboard and prone unlimited; $800 for first, $350 for second and $150 for third.  

After the action on the water, an after party and awards ceremony will be held 4 p.m. at The Deck at Golden Nugget. The party is included with registration and $25 to all others.

Residents with homes along paddle course Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate and Longport are encouraged to show support the paddlers as they pass. Businesses can support the event by becoming a sponsor.

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