Paddle For Pink
About The Festival
Paddle for Pink is hosted annually by the Machestic Dragons, New Jersey’s first breast cancer survivor dragon boat team, is a premier community dragon boat festival. The event is a fundraiser for breast cancer patients and survivors. Proceeds are donated to local breast cancer programs that provide free services to breast cancer patients and survivors. The first Paddle for Pink in 2007 was a small community festival hosting a dozen dragon boat teams, and by 2013 had grown into a daylong fundraising event of up to 50 teams. It is unique by offering a large Silent Auction and live entertainment, in addition to vendors and contests. It is a “favorite festival” of many teams! All races pause at mid-day for the Flowers on the Water ceremony, as the breast cancer teams join in unity on the lake to show that together we are stronger than apart. Pink carnations are tossed into the water in honor of those who have experienced breast cancer and in remembrance of those who have succumbed to this disease. As flowers spread upon the surface of the water, we reflect on how these lives have touched us and how we bond together to combat breast cancer and help survivors live active, rewarding lives. Community participation makes this festival special and successful with over 1000 paddlers, many highly appreciated volunteers, sponsors, donors and spectators.
The Pink Flower Ceremony, “Flowers on the Water,” is a special ceremony of remembrance to honor all those who have lost their battle with breast cancer or are still living with this disease and those who are in remission. It is a tradition in dragon boat racing that gives us a moment to reflect upon gratitude and joy in our lives and the bravery and memory of those women and men who have lost their lives to breast cancer. All of the boats are joined in unity, to show that together we are stronger than apart. By coming together we are able to share our emotional support for each other. The flowers, pink carnations, represent those who have experienced breast cancer, particularly those who have succumbed to this disease. As the flowers spread upon the surface of the water, we reflect on how these lives and loved ones have touched us, how we have bonded together to combat breast cancer and help those survivors live active, rewarding lives. We also honor all those who are no longer with us; friends, strangers, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, nieces, sisters, partners and lovers.