4th annual Half Moon Dragon Boat Festival raises money for cancer

Published: Aug. 4, 2018 at 4:59 PM CDT
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Dozens of area organizations teamed up to race Saturday for the 4th annual Half Moon Dragon Boat Festival in Eau Claire.

Eight hundred eager participants paddled their way to the finish line to raise money for four different cancer beneficiaries.

This year, Mayo Clinic Health System partnered with Hope in the Valley, a local, nonprofit organization whose mission is to create and support events to raise awareness and funds for cancer support, education and resources in the community.

"We want to make sure we can touch as many lives as possible," said Renelle Laffe, founder of Hope in the Valley.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit cancer-related services and charities in the region, including the Albert J. and Judith A. Dunlap Cancer Center at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Joshua’s Camp, the Wig Bank and the American Cancer Society.

"Watching the community come together to help raise money for cancer services is extremely powerful and touching," said Laffe.

New to the event was the food truck challenge. Attendees could buy tickets and vote for their favorite truck.

In previous years, the festival promoted and supported hospice services for people in the final stages of life and raised nearly $500,000.

The 2018 Dragon Boat champions were the Pill Paddlers.