Teams practice ahead of 4th Annual Dragon Boat Festival

Eau Claire (WQOW) — Dozens of boats will be taking over Halfmoon Lake this weekend, all to raise money to fight cancer.

Casey Shumacher is competing in the dragon boat race Saturday, and she was out practicing with the rest of her team Thursday.

"We’re coming in with no expectations," Shumacher said. "So, we’re just going to have fun and show a little competitive spirit. If we come out on top that’d be awesome, if we don’t we won’t hold any grudges against anybody."

The Young Professionals of the Chippewa Valley will be among the 40 boats, each with 20 paddlers, racing a 250-meter course on Halfmoon Lake. Renelle Laffe, founder of Hope in the Valley, and a partner of the dragon boat race, told News 18 the event is about much more than being on the water.

"It’s going to be able to grow the awareness of the programs that are here in the Chippewa Valley," Laffe said. "Really, it is for everybody because every point in our lives we are affected by cancer, indirectly or directly."

Laffe also said the money raised from the event will go to local cancer programs, like Mayo Clinic Health Systems’ Cancer Center, Joshua’s Camp, The Wig Bank and the American Cancer Society. 

You can find more information about the race by clicking here.

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