THUNDER BAY – LIVING – The Dragons of Hope are happy to announce they have reached their fundraising goal to buy a new boat! The Thunder Bay dragon boat team is heading into spring with their ‘paddles up’ in celebration – buoyed by the support of the community. Many generous business sponsors and individual donors stepped up to “Float Our Boat” after a fundraising campaign was launched in the fall.
The Dragons of Hope are a dragon boat team consisting of breast cancer survivors and supporters who, through the sport of dragon boating, provide support to those with a breast cancer diagnosis in our community.
The Dragons have paddled in Thunder Bay, across Canada and even internationally; however, in the last few years the boat they have used at Boulevard Lake has required a great deal of repair work and maintenance. The Dragons of Hope were finding it increasingly challenging to store, move, launch and maintain.
For people who are at varying stages of cancer treatment and recovery, this created a real barrier to participation.
The idea for a new boat came to the Dragons after attending the Paddlers Abreast Canada Dragon Boat Festival in Vancouver last summer. The Festival had much lighter, stronger, low-maintenance boats that made a big difference to their paddling experience. That introduction led the Dragons to research boat options and to make the decision to work toward acquiring a new vessel.
To buy a new, slightly used boat the Dragons needed to raise $10,000, and that goal has been surpassed with the help of so many generous contributors.
One of the first and most significant contributions came from Perfect Fit Lingerie & Fashion, owned by Suzan Cooper Rochon. Perfect Fit stepped up to float half of the cost of a new boat with a $5,000 donation. Cooper Rochon says, “Hearing how supportive all the members of the team are to each other, and the fitness benefits of paddling, I was inspired to help in any way I could.” Having recently gone through her own breast cancer journey and having met many survivors who come to her shop seeking post surgical bras, Suzan also hoped to raise awareness of the support that the Dragons of Hope team can provide.
To learn more about the Dragons of Hope or find out how to join the team, please email them at: email@example.com