6th Annual Dragon Boat Festival benefits Hope Chest Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)-The heat and humidity didn’t stop thousands from heading to Riverworks today to participate in Buffalo’s Dragon Boat Race Festival.

Pep talks done! Paddles in the water! And they’re off! The 6th annual dragon boat festival was a success,

Susan Gately, President of Hope Chest Buffalo told News 4, “This is our major fundraiser every year, so we really depend on the proceeds of this event to fund our services throughout the entire year. The fact that this is growing and becoming more and more popular is really a benefit for us.”

52 teams participated and an estimated 5,000 spectators watched on as these dragon boats raced through the Buffalo River in support of Hope Chest Buffalo. Gately said, “I think everyone knows somebody who has been impacted by breast cancer sadly, but I also think this is a very unique but it’s also a very unique summer festival. There are a lot of walks and races but this is the only dragon boat festival so it’s very new and fresh to the community.”

All the participants, winners or losers, were excited to be a part of such an inspiring event.One racer told News 4, “We’re excited, we’re here to have fun today!” Another said, “It’s been a very good event, and it’s a very worthy cause!”

Some took on a serious approach to the race, others were just excited to be there and in the water! One of the racers dressed in costume shared with News 4, “We may not be the fastest on the boat, but we wanted to be the hottest on the land!”

Aside from the fundraiser and the fun, the event had a special meeting for some. Hope Chest Buffalo was able to honor those who have lost their fight against breast cancer this year. They threw white carnations into the water as a beautiful tribute.

If you are looking to join this amazing team of paddlers with Buffalo Hope Chest all it takes is a couple of clicks. Head to hopechestbuffalo.org.

Gately said, “It’s a wonderful group of women who provide a lot of emotional support along with a healthy living and wellness program.”

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