Boaters Against Cancer has busy second annual event this weekend

Photo by Tom Rivers: The second annual Boaters Against Cancer event will be Friday through Sunday at Bald Eagle Marina in Kendall. This group has helped organize and promote the activities. They include, from left: Gail Grigg, president of BAC; Ray Roberts, vice president of BAC; and Susan Oschmann, general manager of the marina.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2017 at 8:43 am

Flotilla, food trucks, bands and other activities planned at Bald Eagle Marina

Provided photos: Scott Harris of Oakfield fought bravely against male breast cancer for almost four years. He was a boater for his entire life. He grew up boating with his parents at Oak Orchard Yacht Club. Harris owned several boats over the course of his life and was a member of Eagle Creek Yacht Club. He is survived by his wife Karen; children Nick, Cory and McKenzi; and grandson Tanner.

KENDALL – Last year boaters at the Bald Eagle Marina wanted a flotilla and an event to raise funds for boaters and their families fighting cancer.

The Bald Eagle boaters wanted to honor the memory of two close friends who died from cancer. Scott Harris and Phil Lance, two long-time boaters at the marina, both fought the disease.

A flotilla in their memory and other activities raised $14,000 for the newly formed Boaters Against Cancer. The BAC will hold its second annual flotilla and memorial event this weekend.

The Harris-Lance Flotilla will start Saturday at 1 p.m. It costs boaters $100 each to be part of the flotilla.

There are two nights of entertainment, food trucks, a memorial bonfire and lantern send-off. There will be a silent auction with two half-day charters up for bid, as well as a trip to a Syracuse Orange basketball game with Roosevelt Bouie, a Kendall star who went on to be one of Syracuse’s most popular players of all time.

Boaters Against Cancer has given away three $2,000 grants to families of boaters battling cancer.

“It’s helping families get through the hard times,” said Ray Roberts, vice president of BAC.

The money is focused on quality of life issues. Boaters Against Cancer said they want more requests to help families who are battling cancer.

Phil Lance, “Canada Phil,” battled colon cancer for about two years. He began boating as a youth while fishing with family. He held many boating certifications and was a member of Eagle Creek Yacht Club. His boating adventures took him all around Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and throughout the province of Ontario. He is survived by his wife Jill, her children and grandchildren.

“We have more money to give away,” said Gail Grigg, president of the organization.

She would like to see more BAC chapters open around Lake Ontario – and the country.

Bald Eagle is under new management. Susan Oschmann is the general manager. Her father, Jacobus “Jim” Oschmann, received one of the BAC grants last year. It allowed the family to take a fishing charter in Florida last December. It proved to be a great bonding time for the family, Susan said.

Another BAC grant paid for a lift chair for a woman battling cancer. Another grant funded a trip to a Boston hospital for a boy with cancer and his family. That boy from Canada is the grandson of a boater at Bald Eagle.

Grigg said the BAC funds are open to the boating community beyond Bald Eagle Marina.

The events this weekend also are a time of fellowship during a stressful past three months due to the high Lake Ontario water levels. Gregg praised Bald Eagle Marina for hosting the event, and working hard to keep the marina open.

Bald Eagle spent about $70,000 to strengthen its breakwall due to the dangers of erosion and flooding from the high lake.

The marina has managed to draw more boaters this year, and currently has 100 of its 105 dock slips full.

Oschmann said the marina will make room for transient boaters this weekend, and also becomes the non-boating community to the events.

“Come and see the good that is going on in the lake, and not just the disasters,” Grigg said.

For more on Boaters Against Cancer, click here.

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