Annual event takes place Sept. 15 at Hawk Island Park
An annual Lansing fundraiser will continue Sept.15 as teams participate in the annual Dragon Boat Race at Hawk Island Park.
The event involves teams of 20 individuals, eight of whom must be females, paddling the 40-foot-long, 1,200-pound boats to the finish line, said Patsy King, operations director of the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing.
“The boats are provided by the American Dragon Boat Association from Iowa,” King said. “Each team consists of 18 paddlers, a drummer to set the cadence and a flag-catcher” who is positioned in the bow of the boat. The other team member is a professional steersman provided by the association.
Paddlers can be as young as 14, but a parent or guardian must accompany all participants under age 18. Race organizers suggest teams submit a 22-person roster to allow for contingencies that require an alternate take up a paddle. Because of insurance liability, only those listed on the official team rosters will be allowed to participate.
Time trials will begin at 9 a.m. Sept.15, King said. The actual races will begin about noon. The ornate boats are based on an ancient Chinese tradition.
“Besides contributing to our community and our cause, Dragon Boat events provide a unique and valuable team-building opportunity for you and your employees, friends and family,” according to a description of the race on the Women’s Center website. “Where else will you get the chance to embark on a journey in an ornate and traditional Chinese dragon boat while paddling in unison to the beat of an ancient drum?”
Last year the event raised more than $30,000, according to an MSU Today report.
Funds raised by the event are used to help women through personalized services, including the creation of resumes and cover letters, interview preparation, budgeting sessions, application assistance and counseling, King explained.
More information about the races can be found at womenscenterofgreaterlansing.org/capital-city-dragon-boat-race/.
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