Our August Sunshine Fund recipient is Dragonheart Vermont. This organization works to strengthen and empower breast cancer survivors and supporters through dragon boating while inspiring teamwork, fitness and community giving.
Dragon boating is a team paddle sport that embraces athletes of all ages, genders and abilities. The initiative began as a dragon boat team for breast cancer survivors and has blossomed into an organization ten teams strong with access to nine boats to accommodate several practices per week. With 175 supporters paddling toward a better future, this organization can’t be stopped.
Their teams have brought home gold and silver medals at international competitions. The 2017 U.S. Nationals competition saw six Dragonheart teams named National Champions. These teams went on to compete at the World Club Crew Championships in Szeged, Hungary where their breast cancer survivor team brought home silver medals from this competition.
Eight Dragonheart teams were invited to the 2020 Club Crew World Championships in Aix-les-Bains, France until COVID-19 forced cancellation. These teams are now planning to compete at this year’s Club Crew National Championships in Sarasota, Florida in hopes to qualify for the next world championships.
Every year, Dragonheart Vermont celebrates their accomplishments at the annual Lake Champlain Dragonboat Festival Fundraiser. The event raises money to support cancer survivors in the local community. The 15th Anniversary Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival will take place August 7th at the Burlington Waterfront.