Kathy Carpenter was diagnosed with throat cancer three years ago almost to the day, said Melissa Maree. Although Carpenter was able to fight and beat it that time, the disease came back in the form of breast cancer.
Maree is organizing a fundraiser for Carpenter called Kayaking for Kathy, a two-day event from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday and Sunday that will have kayakers starting at Blewett Falls and paddling all the way to the R.W. Goodman Bridge that connects Richmond and Anson counties on U.S. 74.
Mari Bennett with LMO Paradise Rentals will be providing the kayaks for those participating, and she expects the hour and a half trip to be a little bumpy but pleasant overall.
“The water will be very low, so rocks will be there, but it’s an easy paddle. It’s possibly a nicer environment on the river than on the creek,” Bennett said, comparing the Pee Dee River to Hitchcock Creek.
Bennett added that anyone interested in kayaking needs to let her company know by Friday afternoon at the latest. Kayaks will go in the water at 9 a.m., and the paddle will officially start at 9:30 on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Carpenter said organizers are hoping for more than 100 people between the two days, and the number could even reach 200. A hot dog dinner will follow Saturday’s adventure, and an auction at Pat’s Kitchen will take place after that from 4 to 6 p.m.
When asked what will be auctioned off at the restaurant, Maree said, “Anything that anybody has brought over to the U-Haul.”
She’s referring to a U-Haul truck that has been stationed outside of Pat’s Kitchen for anyone to bring an item they’d like to be auctioned off. Maree listed items such as a Total Fitness gym and several small items like gift certificates and gift cards from Pat’s and Rick and Al’s Car Wash.
The price to participate is a $10 minimum donation, and all proceeds will go toward Carpenter’s fight with cancer.
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.