On June 6 this year the Warriors of Hope Breast Cancer Survivors Dragon Boat Racing Team will be holding a special ceremony at Olmsted Beach (Armstrong Park) at 6:00 p.m. We invite you to join us.
The Warriors of Hope are celebrating their 20th season on the water and we wanted to have a special event to mark the occasion. The event begins with a reading of a City Proclamation by one of our North Bay Councillors just after the Bagpiper pipes the dragon boat crew ashore. We will then hold our Carnation Ceremony, in which you are encouraged to join. This is a ceremony of remembrance, promise, and hope and will feature a new song composed for the ceremony. Jim and Carolyn Houston from the J Houston Band will be singing our carnation ceremony song. The Piper will then pipe the Warriors away. The whole ceremony should take about 30 minutes.
The Warriors are all breast cancer survivors and we would like to see any breast cancer patients and survivors gather with us on June 6. Other cancer survivors and family members are welcome to join us as we remember our friends who have passed or are undergoing treatment. There are very few of us who have not been touched by cancer of one type or another.
This year the Sports Hall of Fame recognized the Team for its many accomplishments since our inception in 1999. Close to 90 breast cancer survivors have been team members in the past 20 years and sadly, but as might be expected, about one-fifth of us have died from either complications or other illnesses. This ceremony is not only to remember those Warriors, but also to continue our messages of awareness, encouragement, and the hope for a cure and improved treatment of the disease.
The Warriors of Hope are always looking for new recruits and especially now that some of our original members are looking at ‘retirement’ we will welcome any breast cancer survivors to the team – women or men. Our motto is Heart, Determination, and Strength – all you need to fight the cancer or paddle in a dragon boat racing team. Talk to one of us.
Oh, and don’t worry – we don’t talk much about our cancer in the boat – we focus on winning and the good feeling we get after a paddle on the lake. There is time for consultation and hugs before and after we get into the boat. While we focus on paddling in competitions against other breast cancer survivor teams, we do compete against community teams at festivals. It is a pretty good feeling to see the surprised looks when the mixed teams see that they have been racing against a team of breast cancer survivors (most of us old enough to be grandparents).
So please come out to our ceremony on June 6. You may even get a hug from another cancer survivor. Oh, and bring your camera – ‘Jane’, our boat, will be decked out in full racing regalia.