Crawley gets ready for hospice dragon boat race

jpco 10-9-14 St Catherines Dragon Boat Racing 2014 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140809-110100001
jpco 10-9-14 St Catherines Dragon Boat Racing 2014 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140809-110100001

The St Catherine’s Hospice annual Dragon Boat Race is set to be the town’s biggest ever when it gets underway next Sunday (September 6).

This year’s free, pirate-themed festival will have with 33 corporate teams racing in 40ft traditional Chinese Dragon Boats all in aid of the Crawley hospice which has just announced plans for a new site in Pease Pottage.

Events such as this help the local hospice to continue to care for terminally ill people, and their family and friends, across Mid Sussex and Surrey. Now, Dragon Boat teams are asking as many people as possible to come along and cheer them on.

Running from 10am to 4pm, the day promises a treasure trove of activities and entertainment, suitable for all ages.

Come along and enjoy activities including: an inflatable pirate ship obstacle run, caricaturist, face painting, pirate tattoos and game stalls. Or why not watch the nail-biting final race while enjoying a mocktail and something from the BBQ?

There’ll also be an amazing, not to be missed opportunity, to win an all inclusive holiday to the four star St James’s Club in Antigua in the Dragon Boat raffle.

It’s hoped the event will raise £50,000 for St Catherine’s, which relies on community donations for 70% of its funding. With at home care, Day Hospice services and In Patient treatment costing the hospice over £15,000 per day, these funds will have a big impact. £50,000 is enough to pay for two community nurses’ salaries for a whole year or a week of In Patient services.

Local businesses from the Gatwick Diamond (Just Retirement, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Specialist Holidays Group and Unum) are proudly sponsoring this year’s Dragon Boat Festival.

Mike Hannay, Vice President and General Manager of Fisher Clinical Services, said: “The Dragon Boat Festival is the perfect opportunity for us to show our support for the great work St Catherine’s does. We’re looking forward to racing in aid of such an important cause.”

Sarah Achucarro, corporatefundraiser at St Catherine’s, said: “We’re very excited to be bringing the Dragon Boat Festival to Tilgate Lake for its thirteenth year and hope people will come along and join us on Sunday September 6. This is one of our biggest events for the local community and it’s great to watch our Dragon Boat teams battling to win the title of ‘Dragon Boat Winner 2015’; all whilst raising money for the vital end of life care St Catherine’s provides.”

Although entry to the Dragon Boat Festival is free, any donations to St Catherine’s Hospice are welcome.

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