Bosom Buddies Celebrate 20 Years of Breast Cancer Paddling Worldwide on June 13, 2015

Our story begins when Vancouver’s Abreast in a Boat Team was formed. Sharon Driscoll was living in Vancouver and was introduced to this breast cancer survivor team. With plans to move to Mahone Bay, N.S. in 1997, Sharon had thoughts as to how a team might be formed in NS. She met co-founder Margo Kleiker that summer and started working on establishing a dragon boat team in NS with the help of long distance mentor, Jane Frost, of Abreast In A Boat. Finally the formation meeting was held on September 26, 1998 in the Oak Island Inn, Western Shore and the team name chosen was Bosom Buddies of NS. The team attended its first festival in Vancouver in 1999. We have 66 members age 50-85. We celebrated our 10th anniversary by hosting a breast cancer survivor festival on Lake Banook, Dartmouth for thirty teams and their supporters from across Canada We are affiliated with CBCF-Atlantic Chapter, Cancer Care Nova Scotia, IWK Breast Clinic, BCANS, Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Breast Cancer Network. Our sponsors include Scotiabank, CBCF, and Conrad Bros.

Our “Paddle Party” was a Celebration of Living with a Parade of Pink. On a very rainy June 13th one dragon boat full of members paddled across Lake Banook, Dartmouth from the Austenville Owl’s Club dock to join our Buddies who walked to two pink benches, installed by the city in memory of our members on the other side of Lake Banook. We wore pink to honour the brave, strong twenty-four woman who paddled the first dragon boat in Vancouver in 1995, and became known as Abreast In A Boat. Each team member taking part, wore a name of one of the twenty-four original women. Following a short ceremony we sang our team song inspired by one of our co-founders Sharon Driscoll. Our team walked and paddled back to the Austenville Owl’s Club for cookies and pink lemonade. The weather was terrible but our spirits were high – we are all winners in this breast cancer race!

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