May 13, 2017

The Stand Up for the Cure Story. An Interview with Dan Van Dyck.

A week after the Standup for the Cure’s Sixth Annual fundraising day in Newport Beach, one of the largest paddle gatherings in the world, Dan Van Dyck, Executive Director of the National Standup for the Cure Series, gives the WPA an overview of the event and tells the story behing SUFTC.
(Photos Dale & Karen Photography)


Hi Dan, could you remind us what Stand Up for the Cure is?

Standup for the Cure is a 501c3 non-profit organization the mission of which is to raise money and awareness for early breast cancer detection, research, treatment and education through the active healthy lifestyle of Standup Paddling.

When and how did the whole Stand Up for the Cure story begin?

7 years ago, Jimmy Terrell of Quickblade paddles introduced me to Judie Vivian, a recent breast cancer survivor who wanted to host a Standup Paddling Event to support Susan G Komen as her way to show her gratitude for a new lease on life. Judie is convinced that early detection saved her life. Our first meeting included Judie and Shawneen Schweitzer, proud mother of World Champion Zane Schweitzer and close friend of Judie Vivian. We discussed concepts and our event was born. That same week, I sat down with Mike Muir, at that time with Riviera Paddlesurf, inked a sponsorship agreement and designed the event format.

How was this year’s Newport Beach edition? What were the events within the event?

Our event includes paddling instruction with our pro paddlers and ambassadors Zane Schweitzer and Joanne Hamilton-Vale, a traditional Hawaiian Blessing, our “Sea of Pink” tribute parade for our “Survivors”, a 5k race, the Top Fundraising team relay race, a kid’s race, free Breast Cancer and Melanoma screening with Kaiser Permanente (we’re the only event that does this), Happy Hour with Kona Brewing Co, Barefoot Wine and Pau Maui Vodka, a terrific lunch catered by Newport Rib Company and Live music with Trevor Greene. Our attendees include paddlers and non-paddlers from all over southern California and a contingent from Arizona even though the weather was less than cooperative.

How much money did you raise and how many screenings did you do?

We’re still working on our books, but it looks like we raised over $60,000 for the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen as a preliminary estimate. Also we screened more than 160 participants for breast cancer and melanoma on site for free which brings our total over 1000 screenings to date. I believe that this is more noteworthy than the money we’ve raised over the years… which is not an insignificant amount.




Can you give some details about the upcoming Stand Up for the Cure events?

Our next event will be on July 8th in Muskegon, Mi (our 3rd Annual) which I believe may surpass our Newport results. Later in the summer (August 26th) we’ll be hosting our first ever Seattle Event.

For more information or to donate, visit