About the Founder
The first time Kathy Frederick sat in a shell as a masters rower, she was hooked. “I’ve always been a water person and a dancer,” said Frederick, a native Oregonian. “Sitting in the shell was like dancing in a chorus line on the water.”
But it wasn’t until Frederick unexpectedly lost a close friend to cancer, that inspiration hit. “I saw the Race for the Cure on TV, and I wanted to contribute, but I’m not a runner,” said Frederick.“ Since my sisters and I have put on events since we were children, fighting breast cancer by founding Row for the Cure® seemed natural.” I could also honor my mother-in-law who was a 32 year survivor.
After several months of preparation and planning, Frederick launched Row for the Cure® in 1993 on Portland, Oregon’s Willamette River. The first regatta generated a modest $1,500 for the Oregon and Southwest Washington affiliate; almost every year since has seen an annual increase in funds raised. “People tell me that they enjoy doing a sport they love and supporting a great cause at the same time,” explained Frederick. “That makes all the difference.”