What better way to celebrate than to hit the water in a dragon boat?
Greater Sudbury will do just that this summer as the 13th Annual Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival takes over the waters of Ramsey Lake.
Since the festival's inception, more than $1.3 million has been raised for local organizations, including the Sudbury Regional Hospital, the Alzheimer Society, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Independent Learning Resource Centre Sudbury-Manitoulin and most recently, the Sudbury Food Bank.
This year's recipient charity is Meals on Wheels Sudbury. Since 1971, Meals on Wheels has been serving the Sudbury area with home-cooked meals and has become one of the city's most trusted in-home food delivery services.
One hundred per cent of pledges collected through the festival will be donated to the charity.
“Every two years we pick a new charity,” Chris Gavard, board of directors member with the Dragon Boat Festival, said. “We look for (a charity) that's looking for a capital campaign project because we don't fund operating costs,” he said. “We also look for an agency that can supply volunteers to help us through the festival.
“It's a win-win for both the charity and us.”
Meals On Wheels was one of about 20 local charities to apply to be the charity of choice for the 2012-2013 festivals.
Colleen Fraser, manager of administration and financial services for Meals on Wheels Sudbury, said the festival seemed like a perfect fit for the agency.
“The whole community comes together at the Dragon Boat festival, it seems, and we're very community oriented,” she said. “That's what we're all about is community and volunteers, so it was a really good fit that way.”
Funds raised through the festival will be help refurbish and replace aging appliances in the Meals on Wheels kitchen, which are necessary for the production and delivery of the meals programs.
Registrations for the 2012 festival are now open online at sudburydragonboats.org.
Festival organizers are aiming to have 70 teams participating in the event. Registration is $500 for youth teams, $700 for out-of-town teams and $1,000 for local adult teams.
Single paddlers looking to join a team can contact the Sudbury Dragon Boat office at 705-671-6067.
Lake training practices begin June 4.
For more information about the festival or the selected charity, visit sudburydragonboats.org or sudburymeals.org.
Posted by Arron Pickard