By Omar Sofradzija
Spartans will help others, whether by land or by sea. This fall, they will have an opportunity for the latter.
As part of an all-deans’ challenge, members of the Michigan State University and mid-Michigan communities are encouraged to form or join boat-racing teams to participate in this fall’s upcoming Capital City Dragon Boat Race fund-raiser to aid women facing uphill challenges in life.
The event at Hawk Island Park in Lansing supports the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, a non-profit that provides career and personal counseling, support groups, and other services for women in need. A race of sorts is already ongoing for teams, whose leaders must beat a nearing May 31 team registration deadline to participate in the Sept. 16 event.
“Given the current climate at MSU, it is more important than ever for us to come together and support women in our community,” Dean Sanjay Gupta of the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University recently wrote to the university community. “It’s a great community event, a wonderful team-building opportunity, and a chance for all Spartans to make a positive impact for women in our community.”
Gupta is asking members of the community to form 20-person teams; seek or offer $10 (or more) donations to the women’s center; or simply spread the word, encourage sponsors, and come out to cheer teams on race day.
“Every year there is a team of survivors,” Cindie Alwood, executive director of the WCGL, said after last year’s event. “I think for the teams it’s kind of reclaiming their bodies and pushing themselves in a way they didn’t think possible. Dragon boating is very strenuous; it’s putting yourself out there in a way that you can’t take back. It helps people come to terms with what’s happened to them and take back their personal power.”
Last year, teams from across the state competed in the annual event, which raised $10,000 for the women’s center. In addition to teams representing the Broad College and MSU’s College of Arts and Letters, there were teams from the Lansing Board of Water and Light, mid-Michigan law enforcement, and other community institutions.
Teams will be registered in groups of 20, consisting of 18 paddlers, one drummer, and one flag-catcher. An experienced steerperson will be provided by the American Dragon Boat Association, according to registration information.
Registration costs may vary, and various rules apply. To register a team and for more information on costs and rules, go to http://www.womenscenterofgreaterlansing.org/capital-city-dragon-boat-race/ and click on “Dragon Boat Team Registration” for the proper form.
For members of the Broad community wishing to join the Broad Means Business dragon boat team, registration is $50 per person. Contact Assistant Dean for MBA Programs Cheri DeClercq at firstname.lastname@example.org or finance professor Haris Sorovigas at email@example.com.