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8th Annual Tyler's Dam That Cancer Raises Over $650,000

Publication: SUP Magazine

AUSTIN, TX – Flatwater Foundation is excited to announce the community has raised over $650,000 during their annual Tyler’s Dam That Cancer fundraising event, and the total amount raised continues to rise.

Funds raised will go toward the Foundation’s mission to provide mental health support to those affected by cancer diagnoses. On the morning of Monday, June 12th, 170 participants paddled a 21-mile course from Mansfield Dam on Lake Austin to Tom Miller Dam (Hula Hut) on stand-up paddleboards to raise funds and awareness for Flatwater Foundation.

“This year’s Tyler’s Dam That Cancer was a great success thanks to our 170 dedicated paddlers, our 50+ volunteers, and our generous donors and sponsors, many of whom are Austin locals,” said Chelsea Hardee, Director of Development at Flatwater Foundation. “100% of funds raised go directly to our mission of providing access to mental health support for families and individuals affected by cancer.”

Mark Garza, Founder and Executive Director of Flatwater Foundation, created the event eight years ago to raise awareness for the importance of mental health support after experiencing the impact of his father’s stage IV cancer diagnosis. This year’s event increased its allotted number of fundraising paddlers from 160 in the previous year to 170 members of the Austin community, each of whom pledged to raise a minimum of $2,000 in donations to paddle with the group and do so through their individual and/or team fundraising pages at 

This year’s paddlers included Brad Womack, Chad Womack, and Jason Carrier of Carmack Concepts; Deb O’Keefe, host of the 101X “Jason & Deb” morning show; and notable companies like Springbox, theChive, Alchemy Systems, ONNIT, Orangetheory Fitness, Crossfit Central, Texas Oncology, Benjamin Beau Salon, and WP Engine.

“As a first-year paddler, it was inspiring to be a part of Tyler’s Dam That Cancer and the community of people in Austin who came together to raise money and awareness for people touched by cancer,” said Dr. Jeff Yorio, Medical Oncologist, Texas Oncology.  “Everyday at Texas Oncology, we see firsthand how cancer impacts the lives of families and friends, and we are so proud to sponsor the Flatwater Foundation and their mission to help those who need help.”

Tyler’s Dam That Cancer closed out the day with the event’s annual post-paddle party for the public to welcome the paddlers to shore on the LCRA Lawn, a tree-shaded waterfront environment alongside Tom Miller Dam and adjacent to Hula Hut, following the completion of their 10-hour paddle.

Guests enjoyed a DJ on the Hewlett Stage with beer provided by Landshark, fruit wine sparkling cocktails provided by Mighty Swell, NadaMoo! ice cream, and cocktails. A raffle giveaway was held at the party that included various vacation home packages, an inflatable stand-up paddleboard, gift certificates to various local restaurants, and more.

 Flatwater Foundation would like to thank the TYLER’S Dam That Cancer sponsors, who substantially impacted the event’s fundraising efforts. A few of the 2017 sponsors on board for TYLER’S Dam That Cancer included TYLER'S (presenting sponsor), official paddleboard sponsor Tahoe SUP, Hewlett Chevrolet & Volkswagen, Texas Oncology, Rowing Dock, Mann Eye Institute, Phydeaux & Friends, Haddon + Cowan Architects, Onnit, Preacher, and YETI. Thanks to the generous sponsors, 100% of funds raised by paddlers and donors goes directly toward paying for critically important programs that provide mental health support for families and individuals affected by cancer.


Flatwater Foundation is an Austin-based, nonprofit dedicated to providing those in the community diagnosed with cancer as well as their families and loved ones with access to mental health therapy and family support. The Foundation’s approach combines access to traditional and nontraditional methods of psychological counseling, while encouraging participation in exercise and outdoor activities as a means of providing balance and mental well-being.

In addition to its annual fundraising stand-up paddleboarding event, Tyler’s Dam That Cancer, Flatwater Foundation produces other nontraditional events, partners with the fitness and health community, and builds relationships with the mental health community to break the stigma associated with mental health support and to ensure the awareness of the importance of mental health when coping with a diagnosis. Please visit for additional information.

Read the story at SUP Magazine.

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