NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
For the past four years the Eastern NL Dragon Boat Club has participated in the annual Dragon Boat Festival in Paradise, both supporting and recognizing breast cancer survivors in the community.
Now, The Warriors of Hope team, as part of the club, has secured its own Dragon Boat — specially made in Germany—thanks to the generous donation of $17,000 by the Clarenville Co-Op and Lions Club 50-50.
They hope to get the boat next summer.
They’re continuing to fundraise in the meantime. They’ll need a floating wharf and boat house at the boat’s new home at White Hills. The club is selling tickets over the next several weeks on a package that includes a Brookside stay and play, as well as a kayak session at The Painted Fish in Hatchet Cove. Any funds they raise for their boathouse and wharf will also be used for paddles and life vests.
They will also need a safety boat, gear and training.
“It will mean we’ll be able to practice in the boat instead of at the Wave (pool),” said team member Tina Fillier. “We’ll be able to hold our meetings at White Hills.”
They’re also planning other fundraising events in the future.
Not just competing
This year’s Dragon Boat Festival is on Saturday, Aug. 18, in Paradise, weather permitting.
All the members call the event uplifting and emotional, as survivors are honoured and celebrated.
They say the benefits of Dragon Boating are both physical and emotional and mental.
“There is life after breast cancer,” says survivor Cindy Kendall. “The team gets support with that.
“It’s not only just competing. When you go to compete, the amount of support that comes with it is very important.”
And, as always, the group is looking to grow. They currently have six breast cancer survivors on the team, but would to engage more.
“Once we get our boat, the focus is to expand; get more members and survivors,” said Kendall.
They’re also encouraging others to become involved in the club even if they don’t plan to paddle. Survivors and other people are welcome as support members and volunteers.
If you are a breast cancer survivor from the region, or anyone looking to become involved, contact Kendall at (709) 464-7264 or Sherry Warren at (709) 427-5973.
For any and all fundraising inquiries, contact team member and treasure Debbie Hynes at (709) 466-7936.
The Eastern NL Dragon Boating Club thanks sponsors for their support. The club welcomes further corporate sponsorship in its fundraising endeavours. Any business interested in sponsoring the dragon boat team can contact the club for more information.