Rural Missouri - October 2010 - (Page 27)

addlin’ for a cure Osagian Canoes lends a hand to fight breast cancer Brothers Jared and John Carr, sales managers for Osagian Canoes in Lebanon, paddle one of the company’s pink canoes on a lake near their manufacturing facility. Osagian began producing the eye-catching watercraft this summer. For each sold, Osagian donates $100 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which raises money for breast cancer research. and a desire to help that prompted the owners of Osagian to produce their cancer-fighting canoe. Brothers Jared and John Carr — rom the Current and the Merawhose family manufacturing business, mec to the Eleven Point and Carmeco, bought Osagian in late 2003 the Niangua, there’s one thing — lost their grandfather to cancer, you’re guaranteed to see no and John’s mother-in-law recently matter where you choose to take a had a close call with the disease. They float trip in Missouri. also have had friends and employees Whether beaten and battered or battle cancer. shiny and new, aluminum canoes are “I’m not a doctor, so I can’t come as common along Ozark streams as up with a cure,” says Jared, a sales bug bites, sunburns and manager for Osagian, “but this summertime fun. is something we can do to help So to turn heads with make a difference.” such a common craft takes Showing support for something extraordinary, Lebanon breast cancer awareness something so memorable • by wearing pink has that people can’t wait to tell been in vogue across their friends back home. It major American sports takes a canoe that is more like the National Football than just a mode of transporLeague and Major League Baseball tation, but a statement of something the past few years. The paddlesports bigger. industry wanted to join in. It takes a pink canoe. “If you get all kinds of sports This summer, the quest to conquer involved, then you get all types of breast cancer took to the cold, clear Americans involved,” says John, also a waters of Missouri’s float streams. sales manager for Osagian. Osagian Canoes of Lebanon began Last fall, the Professional Paddlesproducing a pink powder-coated verports Association launched its “Paddle sion of the company’s classic canoe in for a Cure” program, selecting the an effort to raise money for the Susan Susan G. Komen Foundation as the G. Komen For The Cure Foundation. recipient of its efforts. Jared, a board Excluding cancers of the skin, member for the organization, helped breast cancer is the most common conceive the program. cancer among women in the United “We wanted to create something States, accounting for nearly one in that both manufacturers and outfitfour cancers diagnosed, according to ters could be a part of,” he explains. the American Cancer Society. This “I volunteered Osagian to make pink year, it’s estimated that more than canoes, another company offered to 200,000 new cases of breast cancer make pink kayaks, and it has just kind will be diagnosed. of went from there.” While the statistics are sobering, it Producing pink canoes wasn’t is personal experience with the disease by Jason Jenkins too much of a challenge to Osagian, which is served by Laclede Electric Cooperative. The company has been powder-coating aluminum canoes since 2005, so the only trick was to get the correct shade of pink. “The same handcraftsmanship that goes into every single one of our canoes goes into this one, if not a little bit more,” Jared says. “Because it’s the pink canoe, the guys know what it means.” For each 17-foot pink canoe sold, Osagian donates $100 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The canoes retail for $1,290, the same price as any of the company’s powder-coated canoes. Osagian had its first pink canoes available in mid-July, a little late for enticing sales from outfitters because most had already made their canoe purchases for the year. One Missouri outfitter, Niangua River Oasis west of Lebanon, decided to jump on board right away. “I saw Jared on the local news and I thought, ‘Now there’s something a person could do to kind of help out matters,’” says Johnnie Burns, manager of Niangua River Oasis, which is served by Southwest Electric Cooperative. “There’s no one walking in today’s world that hasn’t been touched by cancer in some way.” The Carrs delivered a pink canoe to NRO in late July, and Johnnie devised his own fundraising system. He rents the pink canoe for $40 a day, just like any boat in his fleet. Renting it, however, requires at least a $5 donation, which NRO matches up to $40. “So if you come rent my pink canoe for $40 and then donate another $40, I’ll take what you gave me for the rental and match it together,” Johnnie explains. “Now, I’ve run that boat for nothing that day. It all goes to the cause.” Though the pink canoe was only on the water for about a month of the prime summer floating season on the Niangua, NRO raised more than $300 through rentals and outright donations. Johnnie says it turns heads on the water, adding that it’s most often rented by mother and daughters or husbands and wives. “It’s a special boat. It has special meaning,” he says, adding that he lost a good friend and an uncle to cancer. “It’s different for everybody, but there’s a reason you rent that boat. It’s not just because it’s pink.” In addition to NRO, an outfitter in Ohio also bought two pink canoes this year. Jared and John say that though they took things slowly this first year, they’re pleased with the response the fundraising program has received. They hope more outfitters will “think pink” when they place their canoe orders for 2011. It’s a hope Johnnie Burns shares. “I was the first in the state and the first member of the Missouri Canoe and Floaters Association to get on board,” he says. “I hope I’m nowhere near the last.” For more information on Osagian’s line of aluminum watercraft, call 417532-7288 or visit To learn more about renting a pink canoe at Niangua River Oasis, call 471-532-6333 or visit More details about the Susan G. Komen Foundation can be found online at or by calling 877-465-6636. F OCTOBER 2010 27

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - October 2010

Rural Missouri - October 2010
Good Times on the Berryman
Elk in Missouri?
Mail Bag
Right-of-Way Management
Out of the Way Eats
Live Like a Viking
Two Men and a Cave
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Paddlin' for a Cure
Get in Touch with Ghosts
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - October 2010