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Richland County Sheriff's Department
Thursday March 31st, 2011 :: 01:22 p.m. EDT


RCSD Sheriff Leon Lott issues challenge to paddle for life.

“Building Unity in the Community” -- Richland County Sheriff’s Department starts a tradition challenging the community to paddle for life

By Sheriff Leon Lott

As your Sheriff, I am incredibly proud of how members of our Department dedicate themselves to making positive changes in our communities. One example of our generosity is the support we provide for the American Cancer Society.

On a rainy March morning, three Richland County Sheriff's Department employees sit together talking about their brainchild - a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.

"I lost my wife to cancer in 2008. After that I realized life is short," says Bev Crane. "You have to do what you can now."

Crane is also an 11 year cancer survivor -- diagnosed with colon cancer in 2000.

"Here we are with people who have lost someone to cancer or are dealing with cancer. They're showing there's life after a cancer diagnosis," says Audra Linfert an Intelligence Analyst. She came up with the idea to hold the first annual Kayak for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society.

Trish Odom, Senior Latent Print Analyst with RCSD, has participated with ACS's Relay for Life for years. So she was happy to step up and lend a hand in the planning of this event.

Odom says, "Kayaking is an activity a lot of people are already doing. Now it's for a great cause."

Crane is an avid kayaker and agrees with Odom that it's a wonderful way to raise awareness and money.

"Kayaking was on my "round to do it" list- so I guess I'm "round to it," he says with a smile. Adding that he is doing this event to honor his wife's memory.

I encourage involvement in community events like Kayak for Life. My hope is that by having personnel involved in community based programs, they will have fun while learning about important organizations like the American Cancer Society.

"It's about doing things to honor people- memory and survivors," says Odom.

Crane says, "I think everyone here at the RCSD has been affected by cancer in some way. We had to do something to make a difference."

Paddle for Life is scheduled for April 17, 2011 and is a 7.2 mile paddle down the Wateree River. The cost is $25.00 to canoe/kayak and all participants must wear a life jacket and a whistle. All money raised goes to the ACS.

Learn more at!/rcsd.fb
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Richland County Sheriff's Department
5623 Two Notch Road
Columbia, SC 29223

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 803-576-3000

Chris Cowan
Community Service Division

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