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Sue Guinn Legg

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slegg@johnsoncitypress.com
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Good Neighbor

Dragon Boats race to help

August 24th, 2012 12:54 pm by Sue Guinn Legg

The Mountain States Foundation’s seventh annual Dragon Boat race and festival is set to run Sept. 8 along the lakefront at Winged Deer Park.
Patty Bolton, special events coordinator for the foundation, said 38 Dragon Boat paddling teams will be in the running this year, vying for fastest times and the distinction of being the top fundraisers for cancer treatment and patient services.
“The real test is in the dollars raised,” Bolton said. “It’s cancer and it’s such a real thing out there. You don’t have to be a paddler to help. You just have to have the heart to help.”
While team registration for this year’s race has closed, Bolton said the field of boats is larger than last year and the foundation is encouraging individual paddlers who would like to join an existing team to sign up. Sponsors to help the paddlers meet their fundraising quest are needed in even greater number.
Running in conjunction with the races, this year’s Dragon Boat festival will feature an Art in the Park exhibit and sale, a Dragon Land play area for kids and a hearty lineup of food vendors and other fun attractions.
The Mountain States Heart Coach, a specially equipped motor coach that tours the region providing heart screenings for rural residents with limited access to cardiology services, will also be on hand at the festival. Paid for with proceeds from the 2010 Dragon Boat race, the coach will be in operation and on display as a mobile testament to the good the Dragon Boat paddlers and their sponsors can achieve.
The festival will begin at 8:30 a.m. with an opening ceremony featuring the Science Hill High School Drum Corps and a Wings Air Rescue flyover. Admission is free and Bolton invited kids of all ages to come and stay all day. “It’s a wonderful day,” she said.
For more information, including how to get in a boat, team and event sponsorship opportunities and more details on the Art in the Park exhibit, visit www.mountainstatesfoundation.org or call the foundation office at 302-3131. Donations to the foundation earmarked for the 2012 Dragon Boat benefit may be made online or by mail to Mountain States Foundation, 2335 Knob Creek Road, Suite 101, Johnson City, TN 37604.
UPS will host its second annual United Way Charity Motorcycle Ride, a 200-mile tour of some the region’s most scenic highways and byways, on Sept. 1.
Registration will be held and breakfast will be served from 8-9:30 a.m. in the UPS parking lot, 2301 Silverdale Drive. Riders will pull out at 10 for a 200-mile ride along portions of such popular motor routes as “The Snake,” “The Diamondback” and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Lunch will be provided and door prizes will be awarded.
The registration fee is $20 per rider and any additional donations participants wish to give will be welcome. All proceeds will go to help the United Way of Washington County meet its $1.775 million fall fundraising goal for 17 local human service agencies and programs.
All motorcycle enthusiasts are invited to ride along and help support local nonprofit organizations that work daily to meet human needs in the community. To register in advance or for more information, call Tom Pate at UPS at 854-9332.
Tickets are on sale for The Farmer and The Chef, a unique culinary benefit for Second Harvest Food Bank featuring locally grown produce prepared by some of the region’s best chefs.
This year’s evening of food, fun and fundraising for the food bank will be held Sept. 13 at the Blackthorn Club at The Ridges,
For tickets or for more information, including sponsorship opportunities, call the food bank at 477-4053 or visit www.netfoodbank.org.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605 1717 or 929-3111, ext. 335.

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