The 7th Annual Dragon Boat Festival will begin at the TVA Park at Chickamauga Dam on Saturday, May 4. The purpose of this Chattanooga boating battle is to benefit Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.
Individuals interested in learning more about the event are encouraged to attend a kick-off luncheon on Tuesday, March 19, at 11:30 a.m. at the Erlanger Baroness Campus POB Dining Room. Race veterans and last year’s rookies will discuss their experiences and share tips on fundraising, team building and making race day a success.
Dating back more than 2,300 years, Dragon Boat racing features teams of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steerer in 41-foot long Chinese dragon boats, racing through the water to the finish line. Paddlers of all ages, skill and fitness levels can participate, making it a team building sport.
This year’s presenting sponsor is Patten and Patten, Inc.
“We are extremely grateful and excited to have Patten and Patten, Inc as presenting sponsor, and we appreciate not only their financial support but their enthusiastic participation in the race,” said Yogi Anderson, director of Children’s Hospital Foundation. “We cannot wait for this year’s event, and I encourage everyone to be a part of this fun filled day to support Children’s Hospital.”
It is not too late to register for the event. Early bird registration will save teams $250 if they register before April 1. Boating registration is currently $700 for a company team or $650 for a community team. The last day to register is April 22.
“We ask participants to raise $3,600 per team or $172 per person in pledges,” said Ali Cobb, Children’s Hospital Foundation Annual Giving Coordinator. “That equals approximately 10 cents for every child who is treated annually at Children’s Hospital. Proceeds go directly to the region’s only Children’s Hospital to help provide the necessary services for sick or injured children in our area.”
Teams are encouraged to decorate their tents, wear their dragon apparel and cheer throughout the races. Top prizes will be awarded to the fastest teams and those raising the most money, but the real winners are the children treated at the hospital. Last year, paddlers from 53 teams raised more than $150,000 for Children’s Hospital.
The hospital’s 2013 Miracle Children, Garrett Saylors and Wynn Eady, and their families will also be on hand at the March 19 kick-off event to share their stories about how the region’s only pediatric hospital made a difference in their lives.
To learn more about the kick-off event or the festival, call or email Ali Cobb at 778-3989 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.paddleforchildrenshospital.org