CEO Brian Merrill and others at the company are thankful she recovered and has been cancer-free for five years. But the personal brush with cancer prompted Merrill to initiate Raft for the Cure, which raises money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Salt Lake City affiliate.
“Because of that, we decided to do something,” Merrill said. “That was the initial thing. We have another woman who used to work for us who is battling it now.”
Susan G. Komen For the Cure provides funding for research, community health outreach and advocacy as well as programs in more than 50 countries.
This year’s seventh annual Raft for the Cure is scheduled for Saturday, June 29. Approximately 300 participants are expected, said Jamie Pearce, manager of Moab Adventure Center. She said 150 people had registered as of the first week of June.
The event includes rafting on the Colorado River from Hittle Bottom to Take Out Beach with a stop for a barbecue lunch at Red Cliffs Lodge, Pearce said. The cost is $150 for adults and $120 for children age 5 to 15, and includes transportation to and from the river.
Pearce emphasized that no rafting experience is needed.
The event concludes the evening of June 29 with a party at Swanny City Park that includes dinner, live music and a silent auction fundraiser.
Fifty percent of each year’s proceeds go to the Komen fund. That amounted to $17,000 last year, Merrill said.
His band, called High Water, will provide some of the Saturday night music, which begins at 7 p.m. and lasts until 9:30 p.m. Merrill said Dave and Carla Eskelsen, a duo from Salt Lake City, also might perform.
Merrill emphasized that even those who don’t take part in the rafting trip may purchase dinner in the park for $10. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the music free of charge, he added.
“The party we have at the park that night is open to everybody,” Merrill said. “If they want to make a donation, they can.”
Additional information is available at www.raftforthecure.com.