A record-breaking fundraising target of £100,000 has been set for the 2017 Brindleyplace Dragonboat Race, in aid of blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia with all funds going towards its £1million Centre Appeal.
The 18th annual Dragonboat Race returns to the Birmingham and Worcester Canal at Brindleyplace on Saturday 24 June 2017. With entries now open, businesses across Birmingham are invited to take to the water in 20ft traditional Chinese longboats and compete in a series of heats to raise vital funds for Cure Leukaemia.
Nathan Sanghera, Marketing and Events Executive at Brindleyplace, said: “Last year, over 200 of the city’s professionals took part, and thousands turned up to show their support on the day, helping us raise a staggering £70,374.
“Thanks to the £100,000 fundraising target, the Brindleyplace Dragonboat Race is a critical part of the charity’s £1million Appeal and we’re working closely with Cure Leukaemia to make it the most memorable year yet, with even more fun and games for the whole family to enjoy.
“Team entries are now open, so if you or your organisation or business has what it takes to blow the competition out of the water, sign up and start thinking about the all-important fancy dress!”
Anyone not taking part in the race will be able to watch live on the canalside or via a giant screen, courtesy of Elonex Outdoor Media, in Brindleyplace’s Central Square. A host of other family-friendly activities will also be taking place throughout the day, including themed live music, face painting, puppet shows, dancing and street performers.
Paul Anderson, head of Deutsche Bank’s Birmingham operation, headline sponsor for the sixth year running, said: “The Brindleyplace Dragonboat Race is one of Birmingham’s most successful annual corporate fundraising events and one we’re delighted to support, and take part in, again this year.”
Cure Leukaemia Patron and former England, Wolves and Crystal Palace footballer, Geoff Thomas, said: “In 2016 I raced in the Cure Leukaemia boat with my whole family and it was one of the best fundraising events I’ve ever been involved in and one I would definitely recommend to businesses and friends alike.
“Not only is it a lot of fun, but it is raising vital funds for a fantastic cause. As a former patient at the world-class Centre for Clinical Haematology I know, first-hand, the amazing and life-saving work that goes on there led by Professor Charlie Craddock CBE. I am alive today thanks to the Centre and the £1million Appeal to fund its expansion will double the amount of blood cancer patients that can be offered access to world-leading treatments, that are otherwise not available through standard care.”
Each crew that enters, comprising of 10 ‘paddlers’ and one ‘drummer’, is asked to raise at least £200 per team member, with a charitable entry fee of £500. Additional funds will also be raised on the day through activities, raffles and competitions at Brindleyplace with all funds going directly to Cure Leukaemia. Places in the race are limited and all teams need to have registered their interest by 28 April 2017.