Eighteen teams braved the stormy skies and rain on Sept. 15 to paddle in unison aboard traditional Chinese dragon boats for the 2019 Capital City Dragon Boat Race at Lansing’s Hawk Island.
The Women’s Center of Greater Lansing hosts the race each year to raise funds and support women with breast cancer in the Lansing community. This year, a total of $14,000 was raised to directly support the Women’s Center’s work.
“The event was well organized even though the weather did not cooperate,” said Antoinette Tessmer, professor of practice in the Department of Finance and co-captain of the Broad College’s racing team, Broad Means Business. “We enjoyed many good conversations and fun stretching sessions with Broad colleagues in the beautiful nature of Hawk Island Park.”
Teams from across the state participated in the race, including the Lansing Board of Water and Light, Wayne State University, MSU Federal Credit Union, and four teams from MSU. The Broad College has paddled in the event since 2017, sending multiple teams to race each year.
This year, the Broad Means Business team won a gold medal for the Fire Phoenix category, and the Broad College Executive MBA team won a gold medal for the White Tiger category. The racing categories follow along the American Dragon Boat Association’s guide for determining divisions based on time trials.
“Our engagement is a continuing effort to promote great leadership, community engagement and global citizenship engagement of faculty and students,” said Harilaos Sorovigas, professor of practice in the Department of Finance and co-captain of the Broad Means Business team.
According to the Women’s Center’s website, dragon boating first began in the United States when a breast cancer surgeon’s research study suggested it as a way for women to build their upper body strength and to help cope with the effects of breast cancer surgery.
“Connections are being made at this event each year that promote and support the women of our community,” said Jason Tabor (MBA ’19), board member for the Women’s Center and chair of the 2019 race. “I am constantly inspired by the people who participate in the dragon boat race and want to thank our community for this year’s generous support.”