Thousands attended Dragon Boat Festival to Help Raise Money for Cancer Survivors

Thousands attended Dragon Boat Festival to Help Raise Money for Cancer Survivors

It was annual Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival on Sunday (August 7) which was attended by several dragon boat teams and thousands of other visitors. They were at the festival with an aim to collect funds for cancer survivors across Vermont.

A number of local and international dragon boat teams participated in the event. Some of them made their appearance special by wearing face paint. After the race, several paddlers were given medals. WND&WVS, a local team, was given the Champ Award.

This year’s festival was put on by Dragonheart Vermont and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont. In a statement, Dragonheart Vermont said that funds collected during the festival will be spent to help state’s cancer programs, including Williston-based cancer wellness program Survivorship NOW. In last one decade, the event has succeeded in collecting about $1.65 million, it added.

The festival in 2015 helped more than 50 cancer wellness programs for the survivors every month, said Linda Dyer, Executive director of Dragonheart Vermont, a group of cancer survivors and their supporters.

During the festival on Sunday, eight more cancer survivor teams along with 64 community teams were there to raise money.

Among the participants, there were teams of Blue Cross Blue Shield. For such participants, there was full-circle during the event, said Megan Peek of community relations and health education at the Vermont branch. “"Breast cancer and cancer survival impacts a huge number of people, so we feel very connected to that entire experience that people go through. This feels like such a nice fit because it's such a celebratory process”, said Peek in a statement.

The Sunday’s event was attended by more than one-tenth workforce of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, Peek added.