The Snappin’ Dragons dragon boat team has raised more than $68,000 for the B.C. Cancer Foundation since 2011. (Photo contributed)

Upcoming Snappin’ Dragons fundraiser will add to an impressive $68,000 raised so far

Dragon boat team shares a direct connection to Island research centre

Rick Stiebel/News Gazette staff

It’s not a stretch to say these women have rowed home a boat load of cash for cancer research. Since it was assembled in 2011, members of the Snappin’ Dragons dragon boat team have raised more than $68,000 for the B.C. Cancer Foundation, specifically for equipment and research at the Trev and Joyce Deeley Research Centre in Victoria.

Colwood resident Jackie Goeujon, a team member for three years, said an event July 15 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Glen Lake Liquor Store marks a departure from the team’s regular fundraising activities. “We’ve done yard sales in the past to generate some good funds,” she said. “This will be the first time we combine a yard sale with a bottle drive.”

Goeujon, one of about 27 members of the Snappin’ Dragons, said it’s important to note that all of the money they raise this year for the B.C. Cancer Society is earmarked for immunotherapy clinical trials conducted by B.C. Cancer research agencies at the Deeley Centre, “right here on the Island.”

The team has a direct connection to that particular centre, Goeujon explained, because their coach, Katy Milne, who founded the Snappin’ Dragons, works as a research assistant there.

“She’s so dedicated to helping people and inspires all of us, an incredible lady,” said Goeujon, who works as a traffic controller. “Katy’s been paddling for 17 years, swims, runs marathons and competes in outrigger canoes. She’s a tough coach who inspires you to perform at your best.”

The team, part of the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club, practice on the Gorge Selkirk waterway twice a week from April to August. Some of the women do outrigger canoe in the winter months as well, Goeujon noted. The team is usually involved in four races at the festivals they participate in, and placed fifth out of 37 teams at last year’s Victoria Dragon Boat Festival.

“It’s unique because it’s the only festival in a working harbour,” said Goeujon, who’s been hampered lately by a broken ankle. But that won’t stop her from takng part in the competition at an upcoming festival in Nanaimo.

“I’ll be there banging on the drum,” she said, adding she hopes to be 100 per cent in time for the Gorge Dragon Boat Festival in August.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com