Geist Half Water Station Contest Winner

Writer  /  Kara Reibel

With a humid and slightly rainy start to the Geist Half, the volunteers at the Cambridge water stop were ready to cheer on the runners with a new collective inspiration, replete with a dragon boat prop.

“We love partnering with the Indy SurviveOars,” says Lorna Goodwin of The National Bank of Indianapolis. “They are just such amazing and inspiring individuals. We’ve sponsored this water stop for six consecutive years since joining the Fishers banking community, and this year it was even more special.”

Dragon Boat ladies water stationLongterm survivor Yopi Havlik is president of the Board of Indy SurviveOars. “When I started with SurviveOars, I was scared to death about it, and now I am in my sixth racing season,” shares Havlik.

Havlik is dedicated to helping others recovering from breast cancer through her work at Fig Leaf in Community Hospital where she does prosthetic fittings for mastectomy patients and compression fittings.

“Indy SurviveOars is the perfect group to help you get back to living a full life, and with the support of these women, you know you can do anything,” shares Havlik.

Havlik’s parents wear supportive T-shirts that read “SupportOars” across the back. Carolyn and Howard Pugh attend every event and do whatever they can to support the group. “When Yopi was first diagnosed, she would say, ‘I won’t wear pink,’ and now look at this,” shares Carolyn Pugh. “It’s a miracle to watch as a parent. We are so proud of her.”

Dragon Boat rower Nancy Collett was recruited for the team upon attending the Pink Ribbon Connection Fashion Show last year. “Being part of the crew with the dragon boat gives me my freedom back,” shares Collett, who was injSupportOARS at water stationured by a drunk driver two years ago and then diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after her accident recovery. “The team has fully embraced me, and I feel like I have my life back.”

Accompanying the water station is musician and inspirational speaker Kayla Wyatt. Her beautiful melody enhanced the mood, and as the racers went by, she sang tunes such as “Shake it Off” and “This Girl is on Fire!”

For more information on Indy SurviveOars, please visit Kayla Wyatt, who has her own interesting story to tell, is on Facebook.

Comments 1

  1. Yopi says:

    Thanks Kara for a great article

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