Community Papers

Teams pull together for cause

Vernon's Dragon Riders in boat one and the Okanagan Indian Band's Nk'mpalqs race towards the finish line in the Prospera Vernon Dragon Boat Festival Saturday on Kalamalka Lake.
— image credit: Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star

Okanagan Dragon Boat teams are working hard to help the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Society raise the remaining $83,000 needed for the purchase of a digital mammography unit valued at more than $700,000.

This past weekend, more than 400 paddlers from clubs in Vernon, Salmon Arm, Penticton, Kelowna, Kamloops and Nelson gathered at Kal Beach for the Prospera Vernon Dragon Boat Festival, which raised another $4,000 towards the goal.

This is the third year that Prospera has been the title sponsor for the festival and according to the credit union’s Vernon branch manager, Darrell Oshiro, it is an event that helps to build, strengthen and enhance community life by bringing people together and empowering them to do something that will have a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of their friends, family and neighbours.

“It’s inspiring to see all of the teams out on the water pulling together, supporting each other and really making this a celebration of the human spirit,” said Oshiro, who volunteers at the festival each year alongside his team from Prospera’s Vernon branch.

“The Prospera Vernon Dragon Boat Festival is a perfect example of how sport draws our community together,” said event manager Lisa George.

“The racing includes paddlers of all ages and abilities and is closely followed by an incredible crew of volunteers; I am never sure who is having the most fun.”

George said the festival provides a strong commitment to leave a lasting legacy in the community.

“Our partnership with Prospera Credit Union and the team at the local branch has raised $30,000 to date and Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s mammography department will finally move to digital technology thanks to these funds,” she said. “The smiles at the end of the day definitely said it all, everyone is looking forward to more racing and fundraising success next year.”

Prospera president and CEO Bruce Howell thanked the Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat club for the amazing job they have done in putting together “this phenomenal event which is a favourite summer festival for the city and an important fundraiser for the hospital.”



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