Dragon boat racing may be just four years old in Macon, but it dates back thousands of years in China.
Dianna Glymph, president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Heart of Georgia, figured that staging the races here would be a good fundraiser for her organization, and she was right. Its grown into the groups biggest one of the year.
Its going well and seems to grow each year, said Patricia Humphrey, director of partnerships for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
This years race will include about a dozen teams. Each dragon boat will have 20 paddlers and a drummer.
Its a lot of fun, said Mike Cady, a service coordinator with Georgia Power, which fielded the winning team last year.
Our main reason is to support Big Brothers Big Sisters, he said, and the money goes to help children in our community.
Cady said the event is great for team building, since 20 paddlers have to move in unison to the beat of a drummer at the head of the boat.
You have to work together, he said.
Helping Big Brothers Big Sisters with its mission of matching children with mentors drives Georgia Powers involvement, Cady said, but he acknowledged, We like to win. Were competitive.
Other businesses and organizations with teams include Geico, Wells Fargo, State Bank & Trust Co. and Central Georgia Technical College.
Opening ceremonies start at 1 p.m. with a performance by Macons Hayiya Dance Theatre. Races begin about 10 minutes afterward. The event will also feature music and activities for children.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Heart of Georgia has raised $17,730 toward its goal of $50,000, according to the groups website Thursday. Donations are still being accepted at http://www.dragonboats.kintera.org.
To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters, visit http://www.bbbsheartga.org.
To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.