As the Texas summer rolls back around, a group of 16 WP Engine employees are gearing up for the 10th Annual TYLER’s Dam That Cancer event. TYLER’S Dam That Cancer is the premier fundraising event for Flatwater Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides access to mental health services for patients and families affected by cancer. On June 10th, 200 participants will gather at Austin’s Mansfield Dam to paddleboard the 21-mile length of Lake Austin, ending at Tom Miller Dam.
From weekly team paddle sessions on Lady Bird Lake to intense workouts at FIT Austin, the WP Engine team is putting in hard work to ensure they’re ready for the 10-hour paddleboarding session that lies ahead. But, they’re going to need a lot more than sunscreen and endurance to make it through the day. Each paddler has also committed to individually raise $2500 to benefit Flatwater Foundation. This year marks Dam That Cancer’s 10th anniversary, and the WP Engine team in total has pledged to raise $40,000 to help Flatwater meet its goal of $1 million.
Since inception, Flatwater has paid for more than $2.5 million worth of therapy—that’s more than 25,000 therapy sessions—for families affected by cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, there will be an estimated 1,762,450 new cancer cases diagnosed and 606,880 cancer deaths in the United States this year alone.
“A cancer diagnosis can affect a community,” said Flatwater Foundation’s Founder Mark Garza. “One diagnosis causes a wave across the community and our organization seeks to bring the community back to the serenity of flat water.”
We Need a Flood of Support
Further, for members of the WP Engine paddling team, this cause strikes close to home. All of us are paddling in honor of a loved one, a relative, or a fellow employee who has been affected by cancer.
Stephanie Bennett, a Sales Ops System Manager at WP Engine, lost her father to cancer seven years ago and didn’t realize the impact it had on her mental health until she was introduced to Flatwater Foundation.
“I was introduced to Flatwater three years ago when I signed up to do a paddle for the first time with the WP Engine team,” she said. “I then started using Flatwater services to see a therapist and it really helped change my life for the better.”
Rebecca Reinhardt, a Product Marketing Manager at WP Engine, is participating on behalf of her friends Rachel and Sameer, whose family is currently impacted by a cancer diagnosis.
“I want to be a guiding light to them, just as they have helped me in my past,” Rebecca said. “Rachel herself encouraged me to seek therapy when I was facing personal struggles. This is my way of giving back to her and her family.”
With a month to go, WP Engine is almost halfway to its $40,000 goal. Every single donation goes a long way and your support can help Flatwater Foundation continue making waves for families in need.
We also hope to see you join the team at a fundraising event!
Key Bar Reunion Tour
When: May 13, 8:00 PM
Where: Key Bar
617 W 6th St
Austin, TX 78701
Proceeds benefit Flatwater Foundation