Dunebrook hosts 6th Annual Dragon Boat Races

Dunebrook hosts 6th Annual Dragon Boat Races
By: Dunebrook Last Updated: July 18, 2019

Dragon Boat racing returns to Stone Lake in LaPorte on Saturday, September 7 at 9:00 am when Dunebrook hosts its 6th Annual Dragon Boat Races. Teams and sponsors can register at http://dunebrook.org/event/2019-dragon-boat-races/?event_date=2019-09-07 or email pam@dunebrook.org.

Not sure what Dragon Boat racing is? Check out past highlights at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5DidpQWXCg

Board President and Dragon Boat Co-Chair Ted Perzanowski comments, “The momentum is building as more and more people experience dragon boat racing. When you hear the sound of the drum and see the teams racing to the finish line, you feel the adrenaline-pumping action. Whether you’re paddling in the boat or cheering from the shore, the excitement is heart pounding.” He adds, “This year marks Dunebrook’s 30th anniversary; we’d love to see the Dragon Boat Races bigger than ever to help us celebrate this milestone!”

Teams race in three heats in 41’ canoe-like vessels that have an ornate dragon head and tail on the bow and stern. The course is 300 meters – long enough to be competitive yet able to be conquered.

The fastest team earns bragging rights and a dragon trophy. Applegate & Co. CPA’s is the reigning champ who will return to defend their title. Franciscan Health Michigan City will also be vying to defend their title for the Spirit Award.

Perzanowski adds, “Dragon Boat racing requires synchronicity and finesse more than power to win. We’ve had paddlers from ages 13 to 70+ paddling on teams. It’s a friendly competition.” He recommends Dunebrook’s Dragon Boat Races as a teambuilding activity for businesses, health providers, not-for-profits, faith groups and municipalities. A team consists of 16-20 paddlers (ages 13 and up), and a drummer. Friends and family can also put together their own team, and the cost is just $72 per team member.” He adds, “One of the teams returning this year is called Jambalaya – they didn’t know each other before last year’s race, but have one common connection through a friend.” Individuals can be placed on a team for just $100.

Dunebrook provides the boat, a steersman (to keep the boat on course), paddles, life preserver, drum and team bandana. Teams bring the energy and spirit.

Dunebrook’s Executive Director Jeanne Ann Cannon adds, “Spectators can enjoy child-friendly activities and food vendors as they cheer on their favorite team. This is a free, family-friendly event, and our volunteers help to make it a fun day for everyone.”

Cannon shares “Our teams and sponsors make it possible for Dunebrook to bring this unique event to our community. “Anthem is our Gold Sponsor, and other teams that have already committed include Nipsco, Walsh & Kelly, LaPorte Hospital, First Church of God and Southshore Skipping Stones. Previous competitors have included American Licorice, UPS, American Renolit, Journey Church and CLH, PC. She adds, “And, of course, we couldn’t do this event without the assistance from Huber Marine’s, I Fix Up, Johnson Johns and LaPorte Parks Department.”

“These sponsorships and teams,” adds Cannon, “provide support to our work in helping parents help their children grow up safe, healthy and happy. We provide free and confidential parenting support and forensic interviewing. Thousands of children have seen our Body Safety program in their elementary school. To us, nothing could be more important or vital to our community’s future than the well-being of our children.”

Team Sponsorships are available at $1500, $2500 and $4000 levels, each with special benefits. Non-racing sponsorships are also available, and range from $100 to $1,000. Perzanowski said that sponsors benefit from the visibility of supporting the Dragon Boat Races because more than 600 people attend each year. Through social media, sponsorships attract even more attention. For more information, contact Pam at Dunebrook at 800/897-0007, or email pam@dunebrook.org.

Information about Dunebrook’s free and confidential parenting programs or volunteer opportunities is available at www.dunebrook.org or by telephone at 800/897.0007.