Teams paddling 40-foot dragon boats will race in friendly competition May 5 at the second annual Acworth Dragon Boat Race and Festival at Dallas Landing. The event supports breast cancer survivors and promotes an active lifestyle during and after treatment.
Dragon boat festivals are held across the United States and in several countries to support breast cancer survivors and awareness. The Acworth event is organized by Linda Evans, a two-time cancer survivor and president of nonprofit Dragon Boat Atlanta. The group is made up of cancer survivors and supporters who want to increase awareness of breast cancer.
Proceeds from the event benefit the organization and Marietta-based Loving Arms Cancer Outreach, a nonprofit founded by two oncology nurses that provides support groups, education and financial assistance for cancer patients. Loving Arms was founded in 2011 and has helped hundreds of cancer patients.
A highlight of the Acworth festival is the closing ceremony. Boats filled with cancer survivors paddle onto the lake, join hands to link the boats, and then toss flowers into the water in honor of loved ones who died from cancer, survivors and people fighting the disease.
It is still possible to register a team. Teams are made up of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steersperson. Teams can include friends, family, co-workers, or members of a community organization. No special skills are necessary to participate, and boats are provided, organizers say.
Each boat must have a minimum of eight female paddlers. A team with fewer than 16 paddlers on race day will not be permitted to race. Captains must register their teams online, complete a registration form, pay a registration fee and submit a team roster.
By Carla Caldwell, Around Acworth title editor
For information and to register, go to http://lovingarms.support/dragonboats/.
For more information about Dragon Boat Atlanta go to www.dragonboatatlanta.org.
For more information about Loving Arms Cancer Outreach, go to https://lovingarms.support/.