THE FORKS- The Penobscot Paddle and Chowder Society, a statewide group of paddlers numbering more than 200, will sponsor a Surf-a-thon on Aug. 2 at the Forks to benefit families who have children with cancer or other serious illnesses.

Paddlers will dedicate the day’s run to raising money by soliciting pledges for the number of times they surf a wave or for the distance they paddle. Some paddlers intend to make the Dead River run twice in one day – a distance of 32 miles.

Taylor Pelotte is the 9-year-old daughter of members Greg and Sharon Pelotte. The Pelottes enjoy paddling together as a family, but since September 2002 Taylor has been battling cancer.

Wishing to show their support, members proposed a Surf-a-thon to benefit the Pelotte family. The Pelottes asked that the money be raised not for them but for some worthy organization that helps children with cancer. Camp Sunshine was chosen.

The camp, located on the shore of Sebago Lake, is a haven where kids like Taylor and her family can enjoy a respite from the physical, emotional and financial stresses of dealing with cancer or other serious illness.

The week-long program includes recreational activities for the family, counseling and workshops for parents, and other activities designed to help families cope with their situation. Everything, including meals and lodging, is provided free.

Those interested in supporting the Surf-a-thon through a tax-deductible contribution can send a check made out to Camp Sunshine to Surf-a-thon, 162 Frenchman’s Hill Road, Bar Harbor, ME 04609.

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