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Old 08-23-2007   #1
Gypsum, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1
a big THANK YOU from First Descents

Hello All,

First off, let me just say that I am pumped to finally be posting on MB after all these years.

I just wanted to take a quick second and send out a much deserved and all too small, "Thank You" to the kayak community for the incredible support of our programs at First Descents.

Below is a quick letter I put together. Also, we are always looking for qualified counselors to volunteer each summer. We ask that you are proficient on class 3/4 and comfortable leading a group. If you are at all interested, please inquire via First Descents

Dear Paddlin’ Friends,
I just wanted to take a minute and thank all of you for all of the support you have given to First Descents. We just finished 5 amazing weeks of camp and changed 75 young adults’ lives with cancer.
FD saw some major milestones this year. This was the first year in the history of FD (20 camps) that I was not in attendance of all the camps. The reason for that is simply growth. FD is growing towards its goal of 1,000 Young Adults per year.
The growth that FD has seen recently is no doubt largely thanks to the kayak community. As kayakers, we should all be proud of Fist Descents and take some ownership in its success and its life changing programs. The young adults who attend FD do so for free, and have the opportunity to meet other people their age going through the same things. They use the wonderful sport of kayaking to discover, grow, learn and challenge themselves in ways they normally wouldn’t. Kayaking gives them a perspective on life and cancer that allows them to live larger.
I hope that everyone recognizes that their support for our programs has such a large influence on so many lives. I would like to give a huge thanks to Bryan Kelsen, Katie Hilleke, The Eddyflower vertical challenge, Pueblo Paddlers, Terri Miller and all of the Spokane paddlers, the entire Montana volunteer committee, Kokatat’s kick ass gear, AT paddles, Dagger kayaks for keeping the camp floating, Michelle and her California friends, of course Nike for EVERYTHING, all of the volunteers who took time out of their life to make this happen, Smith Sunglasses, Subaru, Hobie, Brent Goldstein, SARGE and the NC fundraising crew, the FD Ball Committee and so many others who make it happen! THANK YOU!
Happy paddling to all and on behalf of First Descents and Young Adult Cancer, thank you.
Brad Ludden

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Old 08-23-2007   #2
bkp's Avatar
Photographer, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 229

I want to thank you for all that YOU do. I am thrilled to have been able to take part in First Descents this year. I am not a cancer survivor myself, but I can honestly say that my life has been changed in ways that I could never have imagined. The camps, volunteers and especially the cancer surviviors that they serve have been a major inspiration in my professional, family and paddling life. I plan to continue volunteering at FD for years to come. My helmet is off to you, the staff, volunteers and all the boaters who make this happen.


-Bryan Kelsen
Pueblo Paddlers

PS-2008 First Descents Paddle-A-Thon July 12, 2008 in the Pueblo Whitewater Park.
"You gotta fight for your right to paddle!"
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