A little wind and rain didn’t have a chance of dampening the energy for 24 DragonBoat teams (over 500 paddlers) brought to the Dragon Boat Festival in Waterford, Sunday 23 June 2024. Sponsored once again by the Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise (RCNS) and the Cancer Resource Support Program (CSRP), this annual event is a major fundraiser for both organizations. Over 35 volunteers were onsite including Sunrisers, CSRP members, family, friends and students.
On Race Day, the races started at 8:45am and finished up around 5:15pm. A couple of rain delays, a boat snagged on a log and a rescue boat that required rescuing left everyone with a few good stories to tell. Spirits ran high throughout the park with many moving to the great music provided and the cheering as race times and winners were announced. Everyone was kept nourished with the local food vendors onsite and entertained by a live DJ playing music all day long. New to the event this year were formal team pictures taken behind the wooden dragon boat and paddles made by Abel Enterprises.
For a complete reckoning of the event along with participant, race results and photos, please visit our Invasion of the Dragons website.
For stories and connected photos/videos, feel welcomed to visit our Club website and/or our RCNS FaceBook site.
Go to the 'Read more ...' tab for more on this story, the participating teams, notes of our appreciation, our connection to the CSRP and more.
Until next year - Paddles Up!  (or maybe down for a wee rest)
It was a community event - by the community and for the community. Many spectators came by and parked a chair by the water to watch the races. Others out for a walk or bike ride through the park were surprised by the event and some lingered a little longer than planned to stop for lunch. 
Perhaps the most significant take away from this event is that all the monies raised are intended to remain in our community. The RCNS and the CSRP have great plans to ensure those funds are spent wisely and within our local community. We can only thank everyone connect to this terrific event for the success we were able to achieve.
The Winning Team(s).
As teams raced and progressed throughout the day, they were slotted into 8 final divisions where 3 boats raced for bragging rights.  The first place team of each division were awarded medals  to remember their victory by. This was the sort of event where everyone won; not least of which was our own Norfolk community. Nonetheless, it was a race and there were 8 divisional winners (click here to see detailed results). In the end, the Out-on-Bale (Norfolk OPP Detachment) team prevailed as first among equals. They become the team to be slayed next year!
Appreciation Notes for Those Who Made this Event a Success.
A huge thank you to everyone who helped to organize and execute this day - it wouldn’t have been possible without you! As the saying goes; 'many hands make light work'. So as to recognize so much appreciated help; individual contributions are listed as follows;
  • RCNS Core Planning Group - Gail Catherwood, Carol Mummery, Andy Kooistra, & Joanne Kiefer;
  • RCNS Member Volunteers - Lisa Bishop, Gail Bouw, Jim & Marjorie Dawson, Dave Douglas, Ross Gowan, Keith Jones, Michele Langeyk, Wolf Lindemann, Paul Macko, Mary Mercato, Linda Muir, Dave Nicole, Jim Peters, Louise Schebesch, Pam Shantz, Jim Simpson, Andrew Watt, Wes Wilson, Paul Zorad
  • Friends of the RCNS - Keith Catherwood, Kurt Chambers, Chris Howe, Martin Kiefer, Ray Mercato, Lionel Ulrich
  • Student Helpers - Meagan Awrey, Aylin Braun, Chase Elliot, Jude Guthrie, Thomas Irvine, Henry Miller, Sidney Miller, Alex Ruston, Addison Udwell.
  • Several photos of our enthusiastic volunteer group are included here but many more are shown at this link.
The RCNS would also like to express our sincere gratitude to;
  • our major sponsors (MHN Lawyers LLP, The Fredericks Family, Caradoc Townsend Mutual Insurance Company, the Wanda & Scott Memorial Golf Tournament and the Audrey S Hellyer Charitable Foundation with Josh Heller),
  • Ryerse Garden Gallery for sponsoring the team named 'Ship of Jewels' loaded up with Cancer Survivors,
  • Good Redden Klosler for sponsoring the medals presented to members of all teams that won their division,
  • Alkame Dragon Boat Services for another great year; and
  • the many other community groups that supported us, contributed in smaller way or just plain attended to encourage us along.
Our printed ’thank you’ hardly seems equal to the task.
Connection to Cancer Support & Resource Program (CSRP).
Our Club has a very close relationship of mutual support with the CSRP as evidenced by the successful conduct of this event. The CSRP is dedicated to assisting those touched by cancer to take charge of their choices and offer a variety of emotional support services.
A break was taken during the festivities to remember all those currently battling breast cancer, those in remission and those who have died. Carnations were given to all survivors who waved them while sitting in a boat on the water while the song Lean on Me played. The ceremony is an integral part of the day. 
Co-located with the Sunriser's tent was the CSRP, hosting a visit from Andrew Gamble of the OPP. Here represented by Diana Besalaere, Pat Tebbs, Carol Mummery and Gail Catherwood.
What a great cause we help to support.
Congratulations to Our Youngest Dragon Supporter - Ellie Watt!
See a Compilation of Event Photography.
Click here to go to the Club Runner collection of event photos and team pictures.