Our Story



“Survivorship” The South Okanagan Breast Cancer Survivors Dragon Boat Team is the brainchild of Cathie Lauer and Sue Butchart.  Cathie and Sue participated in the Kelowna Dragon Boat Festival in September 1999.  They were part of the Kelowna Breast Cancer Survivors Dragon Boat Team – “Bustin’ Loose“.  They both felt that the benefits arising from their experience needed to be shared with other survivors in the South Okanagan.

Cathie and Sue organized an informational meeting to see if there was enough interest in the South Okanagan to form a team. The meeting held in February of 2000 was attended by women from the local breast cancer support group, ladies contacted through a recent Breast Cancer Forum and others who heard about it through the media.  The overall response was more than positive.

A team was quickly formed and organized following guidelines graciously supplied by Vancouver’s “Abreast in a Boat“.

The next step was to secure funding.  Letters with information about breast cancer and a request for support was sent to one hundred area businesses.  In only a few days the first $1,000.00 came in.

A potential team coach contacted the team and was hired.  Lakeside Fitness came on board to set up a fitness program for the team members.  Training began in April.  Simultaneously, the fund raising committee was in full swing and the registration for the team’s first competition had been paid.  One of the main fund raising activities, and a very productive one, was attending local service club meetings.  By doing this they achieved one of their main goals, raising awareness about breast cancer.

By the end of April the team was well formed and everyone was busy participating in everything from fund raising to putting together a newsletter.  The team was ready to nail down a boat for the 2000 season.  Once more good fortune smiled on “Survivorship”.  Foundation 2000, in Victoria, agreed to supply a boat to the team for the season and the team began practicing diligently under the tutelage of Coach Don Mulhall.  Everyone’s eye was on the Kelowna Festival now looming closer than ever.

Survivorship’s first dragon boat festival was in Kelowna in September of 2000, less than nine months after the girls decided to form a team.  Survivorship finished their first festival with a silver medal and a standing ovation from the crowd.

Survivorship went on the next week to participate in the CIBC “Run for the Cure” in Kelowna.  They walked away with the trophy for the “Community Team Raising The Most Money” for the run.  Survivorship raised over $6000.00.

2000 – 2014 – details coming soon!