As a Founding Member, Jo-Anne holds a special place in the hearts of her teammates. Her enthusiasm and determination in the early days helped our team become strong and skillful. Jo-Anne motivated others with her constant smile and love of life. She also believed strongly in the strength and resilience of women so being part of a group of breast cancer survivors, living their lives as thrivers, meant a great deal to her. Jo-Anne faced everyday of her life with courage, love and a smile; she touched the lives of many and we are grateful.
“Everything is irrelevant but this: to embrace life. To feel it. To savour it. To love it.” – Marty Rubin
Pat was a dedicated founding member. She participated on many committees and volunteered her time effortlessly. Her compassion for the sport was shared with her husband, Dave, who became our coach for several years. Pat was a dominant high school athlete excelling in swimming, where she set many local records that stood for years. She was a varsity basketball athlete at the University of Windsor, and past president of the Windsor Aquatic Club. It was no surprise Pat was a powerful paddler and took the sport on with grace. She carried on as an athlete well into her senior years – dragon boating, golfing, playing volleyball and participating in many Ontario Senior Games – winning medals along the way. Pat was a retired teacher, coach and volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society.
Keep paddling strong Pat!
“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” – Michael Phelps
Shirley was a retired nurse and a dedicated paddler with the WonderBroads. Her talents were many, recalled by her paddling sisters… kind, compassionate, artistic, great baker, seamstress, a great listener and a nature lover. She paddled with great passion and dedication. “God Bless you always Shirley.”
“Every day you’re alive and someone loves you is a miracle.” – Rita Mae Brown
An incredible caring and thoughtful woman of faith, family and friends. Cathy loved to laugh, dance, share a good joke and have a singsong. We shared many tears together.
Cathy was an educataor for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board for many years. She dedicated many hours as a volunteer for various causes she strongly believed in within the community. A mentor, friend, and inspiration who was always willing to give, even if just a simple smile, hug, or story.
Cathy was a founding member of the WonderBroads. Terrified of the water Cathy was determined to get in the boat and very rarely missed a practice. Perfect attendance for years. She was a strong paddler and loved 2000-metre races. Cathy served on the fundraising and membership committees for all of her tenure and as fundraising chair for one term. She made everyone feel welcome and by sending thoughtful cards to team members on behalf of the team for a variety of reasons, good and bad. Cathy ensured an angel wing scale was placed on the boat for all our fallen members. She took some under her wing and became a loving mother to us unconditionally.
Cathy keep paddling strong. We have all won the gold by you touching our lives.
“Determine to live life with flair and laughter.” – Maya Angelou
Dave was the husband of one of our founding members and an avid WonderBroad supporter. After a few years Dave took on the role of coach with enthusiasm and passion. His love for the sport of dragon boating came through in his dedication to the WonderBroads. He obtained his coaching certificate and became a member of Dragon Boat Canada. Dave devoted many hours to planning practices, race strategies and to his own training to better his skill and knowledge. As he grew, we grew to place 5th in the world at the 2007 International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission Festival in Caloundra, Australia. Dave valued and encouraged the best in all of us no matter our skill level. Dave was a gentle giant. After several years of coaching the WonderBroads he moved on to coach the Blazing Paddles, the Windsor Essex County community team. Dave led an active life enjoying the outdoors, canoeing, camping and travelling. He was a life-long teacher, coach and member of Scouts Canada and Boy Scouts of America. Paddles Up Dave as you have “Gone Home”.
“There is no teaching to compare with example.” – Lord Robert Baden-Powell
Val was one of the founding members of the WonderBroads and of Abreast or Knot dragon boat teams. She loved being a member of a dragon boat team and took pride in being part of the “engine”. Val was a very strong woman who met her challenges head on and fought fervently.
“A well-spent day brings happy sleep.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
As a Founding member, Janey loved being a WonderBroad and all the wonderful things that made Janey who she was shone through as she shared, laughed, cried and paddled with the team. Janey worked tirelessly to instill her passion for dragonboating and physical fitness in others. This along with her compassion, courage and commitment made her the ultimate Wonderbroad. Janey had a smile and a quick wit that quickly filled any room with laughter and fun. She was also known as the Silent Auction Queen with her creative flair and artistic talents making each item on the Auction Table irresistible to bidders! Janey’s friendship and love of life touched the hearts of many; she was one of those rare people who makes the world a better place by simply being.
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it” – Edith Wharton
Chronologically, Sue was one of our more senior members. However, her drive, determination and spirit would lead you to believe that she was one of our youngest paddlers. She approached our practices and racing schedule with a strength and vigor that would not quit. She was determined to give 100% at all times so as to never let the team down. She worked tirelessly with the fund-raising committee and for years was responsible for coordinating the ticket sales for almost all WonderBroad events. Another of Sue’s wonderful qualities was her extreme generosity. She generously devoted much time over many years working at the Downtown Mission. Also, she generously had her relatives and friends donate money to the WonderBroads in lieu of purchasing gifts for her and Bill’s big birthday celebration. Sue was a WonderBroad through and through.
Bless you Sue and may you Rest in Peace.
“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within” – Maya Angelou
Jean was a founding member of the WonderBroads. Health issues kept her from paddling the last few years, but her support for the team as a WonderBroad was constant. Jean had a strong sense of humour, a kind heart and a close tie with her family. Jean was a strong, independent voice in our community. She will be missed by all who had the fortunate opportunity to know her.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Kathies Fight tells a story of:
F – Family/friends-her family was her friend, and her friends her family
I – Inspiration of strength and kindness
G – Glass of cold white wine while soaking up the beauty of life
H – Hero to us all
T – Team, (WonderBroads), the team she adored and the team who adored her.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Paddles Up, dear friend, take it away
Sylvia was one of the founding members of the WonderBroads. She was a woman of inner strength yet gentle spirit.
Her wonderful sense of humour made her quick to laugh and ever eager to make others laugh. Sylvia’s loyalty and friendship were always evident to her WonderBroad sisters. Her battle with Early Onset Alzheimer’s was a tribute to her courage and perseverance in the face of tremendous and debilitating hardship.
“Silences make the real conversations between friends. Not the saying but the never needing to say is what counts.” – Margaret Lee Runbeck
Marilyn was an original WonderBroad – a founder and an inspiration to many. Her determination and inner strength were evident at each practice as were her quick wit and smile. She embodied courage, commitment, and camaraderie.
“Anyone can give up. It’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would fall apart that’s true strength.” – Unknown Author
A brave red-headed warrior who fought her battle her way.
A kind, gentle soul with a delightful sense of humour and a smile that brightened everyone’s day; Marianne will always be an inspiration to the WonderBroads.
“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.” – George Sand (1804 – 1876)
Lyn was a founding member of the WonderBroads and of Abreast or Knot dragon boat teams – bestowing her the title “Queen Mum”.
Lyn’s gentle soul and graciousness is etched in our hearts and she will be remembered for embracing the dragon boat spirit.
“A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity into smiles.” – Washington Irving
Bridgette joined the WonderBroads in 2006 and, as was typical of Bridgette, she gave 100% to the team in any way she could. She was a very sincere person who cared about people and was a great listener. Bridge was well known for doing the “little things” that made a difference.
Although she only paddled one season, she had such an impact on the team. Her ready smile and positive attitude are missed but not forgotten.
“Small acts of kindness bring fulfillment and joy to the doer, but most importantly they have life-transforming potential” – Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
Shirley will always be remembered for her smiles, her hugs and her continous words of encouragement. She started as a WonderBroad and continued her passion for dragonboating as a member of “A Breast or Knot”. Shirley’s fortitude and unbroken spirit remain an inspiration to all of us.
“Be strong and courageous for you are not alone.”
Donna joined the WonderBroads camaraderie in April 2007. Her strength in paddling was an attribute to the team. Donna’s laughter, smile and twinkle in her eye was infectious. When she couldn’t paddle anymore we always heard her cheer on the shore “Go Ladies Go”!
We will always remember her support, kindness and unselfishness. Donna loved being a member of the WonderBroads.
“Friendships are discovered rather than made.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Karen was one of the WonderBroads from the beginning in 2003. Her gorgeous red hair and her ready smile endeared her to everyone. At her last practice in 2005, she shared that she needed to be in the boat with a paddle in her hand, and us, her “family”, around her. She died the following March after paddling strong and hard to the end of her race. Her angel spirit paddles with us wherever we are.
“Make yourself familiar with the angels and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen, they are present with you.” – Francis de Sales
One of the founding members of the WonderBroads Dragonboat team, Diana always had an infectious smile, a joke, a positive attitude and a love of life. She paddled, she drummed and always had a good time. Diana was a member of both the executive and the fundraising committees. The WonderBroads were a very important part of her life.
“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.” – Lucianno de Crescenzo
Cindy’s talents were numerous and she was an inspiration to all who met her. She was strongly committed to her faith and she gave of herself in many ways. Cindy paddled for both the Bosom Buddies and the WonderBroads. Her positive attitude will be remembered by all.
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi