Kayaker Thatcher Bean will race in the Class V Gore Canyon Whitewater Race on August 28 and the Wapiyapi Classic Bike Ride in Aspen on September 26 to raise funds for the cancer organizations Camp Wapiyapi and First Descents. Both nonprofits offer weeklong camps to young cancer patients to give them a respite from the day-to-day concerns related to their illness. Bean's goal is to raise at least $5,000. Prizes for the top donors include a half-day raft trip for up to six people on the Colorado River's Shoshone rapids, courtesy of Lakota Guides, and a one-day private kayaking lesson on the Colorado for up to three people, courtesy of Alpine Quest Sports. Go to
active.com/donate/fdwapiyapi to donate.
Bean will race for his friend Zach Mesch, who recently died from a cancer relapse. The two met at Camp Wapiyapi, which means "healing" in Lakota Sioux, when Bean himself had just undergone chemotherapy at the age of ten. As a teenager, Bean learned how to kayak at First Descents, founded by professional kayaker Brad Ludden. Although Bean's not on the pro circuit, he's ridden major whitewater around the world and is now a First Descents counselor.