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Fundraiser poised for big start


Stand Up to NF paddleboard race is on Sunday in WL

by: VERN UYETAKE - Training together for Sunday's Stand Up to NF paddleboard event are, from left,  Kevin, Hailey and Steph King. Kevin King wants the Stand Up to NF paddleboard race on Sunday to not just make one big splash.

The West Linn resident wants it to be only the beginning of an event that will raise money for years to fight neurofibromatosis.

“My goal is to have it annually,” King said. “I truly believe in the communit(ies) of Lake Oswego and West Linn and that this will become a very long-term event. We’re really positioned to have a long-term positive influence on this disease.”

Only a congenital optimist could start an event like this, and King makes other optimists seem like pessimists.

He has already lined up nearly 30 teams of paddlers ready to go at the Cedaroak Boat Ramp on the Willamette River in West Linn, beginning with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. and the race starting at 10:20 a.m.

This whole project started when King gave his old Lakeridge High School friend Kelly Peterson a call because he had not heard from her in 10 years. The main topic of conversation was Peterson’s 3-year-old daughter Natalie, whose beautiful smile belies her suffering from neurofibromatosis, a disease that causes tumors to grow on any nerve of the body. King decided to help his friend’s little girl in an unusual and exciting way.

King credits the Lake Oswego Review’s story on May 30 with igniting interest in the paddle race.

His most important new friend was Sean Owen of Portland, whose daughter Abby suffers from NF. Owen was able to galvanize many other people in the Portland NF community to form teams for the race.

“Sean really helped us get to the level where we are at,” King said. “He helped lift us to the level where we can have a good event.”

Teams can still sign up for Stand Up to NF until 11:59 p.m. today, Aug. 1. The entry fee is $35 per person or $140 per team.

For more information, call Kevin King at 503-333-6797. To register, go to grow.ctf.org/EfitStanduptoNF2013.

For more information on neurofibromatosis and the Children’s Tumor Foundation, go to CTF.org.

Sponsors of Stand Up to NF are eFit, Gorge Performance, CrossFit and J.D. Fulwiler & Co. Insurance.