SPARTA, NJ -The Sparta Education Foundation will present their First Annual Dragon Boat Festival on Sunday, May 17 at the Lake Mohawk Country Club. This fundraiser for Sparta’s public schools is a perfect team-building opportunity that promises to be a fun and memorable day for all. 

Teams of 21 paddlers can include friends, co-workers, neighbors, church members, sports teams, clubs or any group of individuals who would like to participate in this event.  All skill levels can participate, making it the ultimate team building sport, requiring synchronicity and finesse more than power to win.

Dragon Boat Races are held in 46-foot long boats, and teams of 21 compete in 250 meter heats.  A team is comprised of 20 paddlers and one drummer.  Each team in this adrenaline-filled activity must include at least eight females and can include no more than ten participants between the ages of 15-17.  A steersman is provided by the Dragon Boat Festival director. 

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Each team will get an on-water practice session with a trained coach/steersperson prior to race day and compete in at least two heats on Sunday, May 17.  Prizes will be awarded but the real winners will be Sparta’s students.

The Dragon Boat Festival coincides with Lake Mohawk Country Club’s annual Tasting on the Boardwalk, a gathering of local restaurants offering gourmet samples for a small fee. In past years over a dozen restaurants from the area provided everything from sliders to cupcakes. “Tasting on the Boardwalk will be a delicious accompaniment to the Dragon Boat Festival,” said SEF President, Dorothy LaBeau.

“This is truly a unique event.  Dragon Boat Race teams will raise money to help enrich the educational experience for students in our schools. It will be a spirited community day and great team competition,” said LaBeau.

For additional information about registering a team or volunteer opportunities, visit spartadragonboat.com or like the Facebook page at facebook.com/SpartaDragonBoatFestival.

The Sparta Education Foundation has awarded over $537,109 in grants to all five of Sparta’s public schools since 2007. The Foundation is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to engage the entire community in philanthropic giving that strengthens the public schools, supports teachers, and inspires students. For more information about the Foundation, visit spartaeducationfoundation.org.