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Competitors ready to dig deep for The Paddle For A Cause

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Athletes from around the world are getting ready to dig deep in our local waters to help people in South Jersey with cancer.

ATLANTIC CITY — Athletes from around the world are getting ready to dig deep in our local waters to help people in South Jersey with cancer.

The 12th annual Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation Paddle For A Cause Presented by Seashore Construction is a multiple course paddleboarding event being held on Saturday, June 8 at the Frank S. Farley State Marina at Golden Nugget Atlantic City.

The 22.5-mile race around Absecon Island draws paddleboarding and rowing competitors from around the world and offers prizes for men’s and women’s prone and stand-up paddleboarding divisions. New this year are categories and prizes specifically for racers in the outrigger canoe and surf ski vessels. The course was designed by Mike May in 2001 to challenge racers as a reminder that they are helping people struggling with cancer.

Paddleboarding teams can also complete the 22.5-mile as a relay and an open division welcomes all kayaks, and lifeguard boats in solo race and team relay formats.

Cash prizes of $800 for first place, $350 for second place and $150 for third place will be awarded for the 22.5-mile race around Absecon Island in the following categories: men's open prone, men's 14-foot and longer stand up paddleboard, women's open prone and women's 14-foot and longer stand up paddleboard. In addition, the foundation will be offering smaller purses to the top three overall finishers in two newly announced categories, the Surf Ski and OC-1.

There are noncompetitive fun paddleboarding and kayaking events with 4-mile and 8-mile courses that navigate from the marina through the back bays to The Wonder Bar. There is also an 8-mile race. A virtual paddling event allows supporters to fundraise online and participate 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.

This year's memorial paddle-out will be held in honor of Gregory S. Weber of Red Bank, New Jersey, who died in March of cancer. Weber was well known in the watersports community, especially for being one of the first representatives in the paddleboard industry with C4 Waterman and Boardworks Paddle Boards.

To date, more than $25,000 has been pledged across the nearly 50 fundraisers. Prizes for the top fundraisers are an ECS Inception painted epoxy paddleboard package including a board fin, leash and paddle for the top fundraiser, a 9-foot, 2-inch ECS longboard surfboard for second place and third place will receive a Hamboards skateboard.

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. See for information on registration, ticketing or to make a donation to a paddler.

The Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation promotes cancer awareness and assists individuals battling cancer both emotionally and financially. To date, the foundation has raised more than $800,000 and donates 90 percent of its funds to individuals and organizations including the Ruth Newman Shapiro Cancer Fund, Shore Medical Center Cancer Center, Gilda’s Club of South Jersey and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of South Jersey Cape Regional Cancer Center and AtlantiCare Cancer Center.

The foundation was created in 2001 when Dean Randazzo, a professional surfer from Atlantic City, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes. Since successfully battling the disease four times, Dean continues his competitive professional surfing career, proudly representing the Garden State all over the world. The Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation is a New Jersey Non Profit and 501(c)(3) charitable organization and donations are tax deductible. Donations by check should be made payable to DRCF and mailed to P.O. Box 149, Somers Point, NJ 08244.

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