Charlotte Nonprofits Partner Together To Host Adventure Day for Cancer Families

Isabella Santos Foundation (ISF) partnered with Catawba Riverkeeper to provide a day of fun and adventure for kids affected by cancer and their families on Saturday, August 27.  

“Kids battling cancer spend weeks and often months stuck in hospital rooms. Stuck in their houses to avoid germs. And even if in remission, after several years of COVID-19 challenges, so many of them have lost out on social gatherings. We wanted to give kids and their families a day when they can just be a kid again. To have fun with their families. We are so thrilled to be able to do that with another Charlotte nonprofit!” -Erin Santos, Isabella’s Mom & ISF Executive Director

The day of adventure called River Rest Fest immersed kids in the beauty and serenity of North Carolina’s outdoors and exposed them to the recuperative benefits of nature. Located on the banks of the South Fork of the Catawba River, the event was held at The Catawba Riverkeeper Boathouse in downtown McAdenville.  The Catawba Riverkeeper is the only non-profit, on-the-water advocate for the entire 8,900 miles of waterways in the Catawba-Wateree River Basin. Their programs for this special day were designed to allow cancer patients and their families to enjoy time on the water, participate in nature walks, and learn about plant and animal life on the river basin.  A fun day filled with kayaking, rafting, hiking, and lunchtime together.

The event was presented by Pure Intentions Coffee to help pay for costs associated with the activities so that cancer families can enjoy the day free of charge.

“We are so excited to be a part of this special day on the water for the kids and families that the Isabella Santos Foundation serves. Water is essential to the lives of all and connecting with it can be restorative. We have seen people’s entire outlook on water change when they have the opportunity to engage with it firsthand and we are looking forward to providing that restorative and impactful opportunity to these families.” -John Searby, Executive Director at Catawba Riverkeeper

ISF funds an innovative healthcare program at Levine Children’s focused on rare childhood cancers, The Isabella Santo Santos Foundation Rare and Solid Tumor Program.  This adventure-filled day benefited patients and their families treated at Levine Children’s. It was the perfect way to kick off Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month… to witness smiles, laughs, and kids just being kids.  Kids fighting cancer deserve more. They deserve more efficient treatments. They deserve more time. They deserve fun and they deserve the opportunity to just be a kid.

About Catawba Riverkeeper

Catawba Riverkeeper is the only non-profit, on-the-water advocate for the entire 8,900 miles of waterways in the Catawba-Wateree River Basin. Founded in 1997, we provide accurate, science-based information about your water and the issues affecting it. Our mission is to preserve, protect, and restore the waters of the Catawba-Wateree River Basin for all through education, advocacy, and engagement. Learn more by visiting or following Catawba Riverkeeper on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.