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Local Business Supports Creative Fundraising

Rafting For Research

POSTED July 21, 2009 10:56 a.m.
It’s been a few years since Shiloh Foust has seen his name grace the pages of The Oakdale Leader. Foust, a Class of 2004 Oakdale High School graduate, was once described by past Aca Deca coach Leigh Ann Gobel as someone who, “takes his commitments seriously.”
Now, five short years following his departure from Oakdale High, Foust is proving to still be one that does not take life, or a job assignment, for that matter, lightly.
Upon completing his education at OHS, Foust went on to attend University of California, San Diego where he majored in Biology. He graduated from the esteemed school with his Bachelor in Science degree in 2008. 
While attending UCSD Foust spent a good portion of time working with researchers studying various types of cancer on the molecular level. His personal interest lies in dentistry, specifically Oral Maxillofacial Surgery.
During the summer of 2008 and again this summer, the OHS graduate decided to take a break before attending Dental School. During this time he worked for his father’s family business Sunshine Rafting Adventures, a job he recalls doing for as long as he could remember.
As the 2008 rafting year began to wrap up, Foust began thinking of ways the company could align itself with organizations. Drawing from his research experience in college, as well as his family’s connection to loved ones with cancer, Foust had an idea. 
‘Float On Fight On’ became the pet project of Foust. The idea was simple, the outcome unexpected.
Reviewing the float season and schedule with his father, the two determined that early June would be the best time to host the fundraiser. A simple blurb about the event was placed on the river raft company’s website. Rafters interested in participating were charged a half price fare for the day and all proceeds were to benefit the American Cancer Society.
“This shows really well for this company,” Cheryl Brunk, Director, Community Services for the American Cancer Society, said. “There are so many good things going on right now. In tough economic times, this is really a unique and creative way a company can support a cause.”
Brunk also stated that the outdoor float on the Stanislaus River this June was in keeping with much of the mission of the American Cancer Society, encouraging people to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
Part of the money raised through various events goes toward research, all in hopes of finding a cure.
“We actually fund beginning investigators,” Brunk said of ACS, “because we know how hard it is for them to get funding. The American Cancer Society is looking at all cancers.
“When we raise money here in California, we’re so lucky, because so many of the high quality researchers are here in our state. So much of the money stays right here in California.”
Foust admitted that when the company began promoting the event in early March of this year, he was concerned that his 200 person, $2000 goal may have been a bit out of reach.
As the event grew closer, so too did the feedback and interest. Foust estimates that they hosted 300 rafters that day in early June, which ultimately netted a donation of $3700 for the American Cancer Society. 
“I was pretty amazed with the response,” he said of the outcome. “We’ll definitely do it again. I want to do it every year.
The younger Foust said he couldn’t have done it without the family support.
“He of course is on board,” Foust said of his father Jim. “He was on board from the very beginning.”
For information on Sunshine Rafting Adventures call 848-4800.
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