EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Calling all paddlers: The fourth annual Half Moon Dragon Boat Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. Up to 52 teams will race. Online team registration will be open March 1–31.
To grow the event, Mayo Clinic Health System is partnering with Hope in the Valley, a local, nonprofit organization whose mission is to create and support events to raise awareness and funds for cancer support, education and resources in the community. For the past three years, Hope in the Valley held an annual October event called “Primp, Pamper, Prevent” benefitting the American Cancer Society. That event will continue. Proceeds from the 2018 Half Moon Dragon Boat Festival will benefit cancer-related services and charities in the region, including the Albert J. and Judith A. Dunlap Cancer Center at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. In previous years, the festival promoted and supported hospice services for people in the final stages of life and raised nearly $500,000. Event organizers say hospice components and activities still will be a part of the event.
“This partnership and shift in focus will help the Half Moon Dragon Boat Festival grow and benefit more people across northwest Wisconsin,” says Sara Carstens, director of Community Engagement and Wellness at Mayo Clinic Health System in northwest Wisconsin. “We are deeply grateful for the continued support of the race by the community. We continually strive to make this event bigger and better each year, and look forward to expanding the number of people we can help as a result of the proceeds that are raised.”
“Sadly, too many of us know too many people whose lives have been touched by cancer,” says Renelle Laffe, Hope in the Valley founder and longtime cancer advocate. “We feel this is a cause everyone can support, and look forward to continuing this fun and successful event for the entire community to enjoy.”
The event will not focus on any particular type of cancer; rather, it will represent all types of cancer.
Dragon boat racing, which has its roots in ancient China, is a fast-growing water sport. Dragon boat teams, consisting of a crew of 20 paddlers, a drummer and steersperson, work much like the coordinated oncology care at Mayo Clinic Health System, which includes doctors, nurses, social workers and volunteers, along with a number of community resources. All members of the health care team need to work in sync to provide the best care for the patient. Corporate and community teams are invited to participate in the festival. Each long, sleek boat will race head to head along a 250-meter course on Half Moon Lake in Carson Park.
Corporate sponsorships are available. Learn more by:
- Visiting the Half Moon Dragon Boat Festival page on Facebook and liking the page
- Visiting halfmoondragonboat.org or calling Laffee at Hope in the Valley at 715-864-9500 for sponsorship information
- Contacting Maria Seibel, Community Engagement and Wellness at 715-838-3177 for race information
Press ContactKristin Everett