The Villages - October 2016 - 23
times. It's hard. It hurts - from butt blisters to sprains and
strains - but these women are wonderful. We're pushing
our bodies more than we ever thought we could. We teach
each other and support each other and we all have good
and bad days."
Sasmor has more than breast cancer in common with
teammate Kravet. They discovered that Kravet taught
Sasmor's children at a school in Miami long ago.
Fourteen-year survivor Karen Dempsey loves being a
part of the Dragon Sisters. She said paddling took her out
of her comfort zone in an awesome way.
"I never have been an athlete," she said. "Getting up
and out in the morning to really work yourself to your
limits is a wonderful thing. Even when you fail or aren't
doing good, they say, 'You're gonna get it.'"
Dempsey especially values the team's efforts to reach
out to breast cancer survivors.
"There's a lot of folks out there who are going
through it, so we all need to support each other with
our thoughts and prayers," Dempsey said. "I think it's a
wonderful thing that October is breast cancer month and
everybody has an opportunity to support the cause."
Dempsey encourages people not only to spread
awareness, but also to take action.
"Research costs a lot of money and it's time to work
for a cure," she said. "And it's really important to let
people know that early detection is the biggest thing."
Dempsey and the rest of the women don't just care
about each other - They look out for the community.
"We always have an iron in the fire to do things for
other people," Dempsey said.
Teammates have clipped and mailed more than
300,000 coupons to U.S. military families in less than
three years for Troopons.
They've donated 360 bottles of nail polish and plenty
of school supplies to the women and children living in the
Ocala National Forest, and they are collecting sanitary
napkins, all through SoZo Kids.
They've participated in Villagers for Hospice, Camp
Villages, Toys for Tots, Habitat for Humanity, Wounded
Warriors, Honor Flight, Combat Veterans to Careers,
Tutors for Kids and beyond.
"It's so much more than just paddling," Skopaz said.
"I'm humbled by the impact that 36 ladies can have."
The time they spend paddling on the water, breathing
the fresh air and taking in each other's company gives so
much back to the sisters, too.
"Even though it's just an hour three times a week, it's
their hour," Skopaz said. "They need that."
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Villages - October 2016
The Villages - October 2016 - Cover1
The Villages - October 2016 - Contents
The Villages - October 2016 - 1
The Villages - October 2016 - 2
The Villages - October 2016 - 3
The Villages - October 2016 - 4
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The Villages - October 2016 - Cover4