Getting involved in the fight to end cancer is something that many Manitobans are passionate about, but when it comes to the Annual Dragon Boat Festival, the participation jumps even higher, as many teams throw everything they have, into it to make each year better than the last! On the weekend of September 9 – 11, 2016, the Winnipeg Red River and “The Forks” became a flurry of activity as hundreds of sponsored participants took part in multiple races down the river in Dragon Boats.
So what are dragon boats? Dragon boats are a narrow, low boat which is operated by 20 paddlers sitting in rows of two, a drummer on the front who’s responsible to keep a steady beat, and a Cox who steers the boat from the rear. The members all paddle in unison to the sound of the beat from the drummer, and the teams with the best coordination and timing typically are the winners.
While the event is fun and the atmosphere is inviting, it’s also a time for remembering all the people that have been touched by cancer in their lives, and it was a great honour for RRT to be invited to assist in this event for the second year in a row.
Throughout the day, RRT was asked to help with selling raffle tickets to the spectators for a 50/50 Draw, which was a large contributing factor in the fundraising for this event.
An important part of the festival is the pebble decorating, which RRT was also honoured to be part of. For a small amount, participants can purchase a pebble in memory of a loved one and decorate it how they wish. Then, on the last day of the event, all the pebbles are thrown into the river in recognition of those who bravely battled Cancer, and are still battling the disease.
The 2016 Dragon Boat Festival was another huge success for the CancerCare Foundation of Manitoba, helping to raise the much needed funds for cancer research. Registration for the 2017 races is already open, look forward to seeing you again next year!