Dragon boat races on Red River draw hundreds to 'kick cancer'

Dragon boats are running up and down the Red River at the Forks this weekend.
Dragon boat crews prepare to compete Saturday at the annual event at The Forks this weekend. (Carla Oliveira/CBC)

Dragon boats are running up and down the Red River at the Forks this weekend.

More than 2,000 people turned out to 'Kick Cancer' in the annual event Saturday. 

Alison Carter (left) with CancerCare Manitoba, and Tanya Williams of the Children's Hospital Foundation said the money raised by annual dragon boat races makes a big difference in the fight against cancer. They are holding paddles for those participants who raise either $1,000 (red) or gold, for the one who raises the most money. (Carla Oliveira/CBC)
Organizers said there were 103 teams, with between 20 and 25 people per team.

It's a fund raiser for CancerCare Manitoba and the Children's Hospital Foundation.

Hospital Foundation spokesperson Tanya Williams said it's an important event in the fight against pediatric cancer. 

"It's amazing how many kids have cancer in Canada. And they shouldn't," she said. "The great news is because of the money raised at functions like this and different festivals that we do at both of our foundations, the mortality rate is dropping. Forty years ago the mortality rate about 90 per cent. And now it's dropped to almost 20 per cent. So just because of the research and the funds raised here today, we're making a difference in combating cancer."

Last year the dragon boat races raised $340,000.

Organizers are aiming for $350,000 this year. 

Participants who raise more than $1,000 receive a red paddle in recognition. 

And the paddler who raises the most, will get a golden paddle.