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West Herr donates $49K to help cancer survivor rowing team purchase new boat

We Can Row uses rowing as a way to build strength and to gain emotional support with other women who have also dealt with the life threatening disease.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A local rowing club made up of women who battled and survived cancer has received a donation to help foster a new dream. 

The women in We Can Row use rowing as a way to build strength and emotional support.

They told 2 On Your Side that they were looking for help to buy a new lighter boat for $49,000.

Local auto dealership West Herr saw 2 On Your Side's story and decided to donate all of the money so the team could buy that boat, which will be purple -- the universal color for cancer.

The team will also get white oars with a purple ribbon on it. 

"This is amazing. I have goosebumps and I can't even express what words mean for this team," said Lisa Wind, co-founder of We Can Row. "It's an unbelievable experience that West Herr came in and made this donation to help us out."

"We saw the original story aired by Danielle Church, about the weekend Row Buffalo team. And we all of us, including Scott Bieler, President, and CEO, were really inspired by these women's stories. All surviving cancer-fighting cancer currently. And we've just really touched and felt the importance of their group and we really felt compelled to help."

Between the old boat and new one -- We Can Row will have 16 seats.

That means less of them will have to take turns. 

"So anybody seeing us go down that Buffalo River will, you'll know it's a cancer survivor group. that's our there still maintaining and exercising and challenging and we're thrivers so that's what it's all about."

It's all thanks to some selfless, community members that Lori Runk, a breast cancer survivor, and her friends will be able to keep finding pure bliss on the Buffalo's waterfront. 

"We're not that special. We're just enjoying ourselves on the water and to have somebody come out and say 'wow that's inspiring and we want to help you, it's more joy," Runk said. 

RELATED: Women battling cancer find support, serenity along Buffalo River

West Herr says they feel an incredible responsibility to give back to a community that has supported them for the last 70 years.

The best part about being in the city of good neighbors is seeing how the community supports each other. 


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