The Buoyant Buddies Dragon Boat Team poses at the 2019 Dragon Boat Festival on July 13 at Swan Lake. (Submitted photo)

Dragon boats help fund breast cancer treatment at Vernon hospital

The Dragon Boat Festival at Swan Lake on July 13 raised $2,020 for VJHF

Dragon boaters from across the Thomson-Okanagan gathered on Saturday, July 13 at Swan Lake for the 8th annual Dragon Boat Festival and Pledge Drive.

The event raised $2,020 for the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation to support women’s breast cancer treatment.

Twelve teams hit the lake for a day full of fun, fundraising, and dragon boating. The day included 500-metre races, a mixed nuts charity challenge, 50/50 draw and the Breast Cancer Survivorship Coronation Ceremony.

READ MORE: Age is just a number for B.C. dragon boat champions

The mixed nuts charity challenge was a new addition at this year’s event. As part of this challenge, teams paddled 500 metres, then had to turn their boats around and race back.

According to a release, the challenge was amusing to watch since dragon boats do not usually turn around. Rachael Zubick, a member of the Vernon Dragon Riders team, said it was “the ultimate in collaboration at the end of a fabulous festival.”

Lisa George, program and events manager of the festival, said they were thrilled with the fundraising results this year.

“The partnership between our Dragon Boat Festival and the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation gives our club an opportunity to assist in purchasing critical breast cancer diagnostic equipment,” said George.

READ MORE: Vernon’s breast cancer survivor dragon boat team returns from Italy

Since inception in 2011, the festival has raised over $40,000 for the hospital.

“Cancer journeys are often very difficult,” said Kate McBrearty, interim executive director of the hospital foundation. “The support of the Vernon Dragon Boat Festival is important to the women who receive cancer treatments at our hospital.”

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Paddlers and steersmen compete in the eighth annual Vernon Dragon Boat Festival and Pledge Drive held Saturday on Swan Lake. The event attracted 12 boats from throughout the Thompson-Okanagan region, helping to raise nearly $2,100 for the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation to purchase adigital mammography unit. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)

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