Join us for the next Dragon Boat Races in September 8, 2018!
2018 will commemorate the 11th biennial Catholic Charities Dragon Boat Races – a truly special event that combines athleticism and competition with fundraising and awareness of Catholic Charities. Since 1998, over 50 companies, non-profits and schools have partnered with us to raise over $5 million dollars in support of our mission – to love, serve and teach, work for justice, and to improve the lives of Marylanders in need.
Sponsored teams will practice the ancient sport of Dragon Boat Racing for 8 weeks over the summer leading up to Race Day, date TBD, in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, drawing an estimated crowd of 10,000 spectators. Off the water, each team will learn more about the work of Catholic Charities by partnering with one of our 81 programs. Paddlers see firsthand the issues faced by our clients and contribute their time and resources to making a difference in their lives.
Dragon Boat racing is a reflection of a memorable historical event that occurred more than 2,000 years ago. Numerous supremacy wars were erupting during the fourth century B.C. when Emperor Chu’s kingdom was one of the mightiest remaining. It is a story of self-sacrifice.
A man of great respect, Qu Yuan, a poet, minister and counselor to Emperor Chu, was cast into exile because of his politically sensitive poems. Distraught and inconsolable, Qu Yan grasped a large stone and threw himself into the Mi Lo River in an act of desperation and sorrow. His last poem can be translated:
Many a heavy sigh I have in my despair,
Grieving that I was born in such an unlucky time.
I yoked a team of jade dragons to a phoenix chariot,
And waited for the wind to come,
to sour up on my journey
Qu Yuan was loved so by the people that local fisherman raced to the tragic scene in their long, swift boats, beating their drums and splashing their oars to scare the many fish away from his body. They threw also tossed rice into the river some say in an attempt to protect Qu Yuan’s body from the fish and others to feed his soul.
Dragon Boat Festivals are held in China on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar, the same day Qu Yuan is said to have drowned himself in the Mi Lo River. Many of the original rituals are still practiced today at festivals all over the world. As part of the opening ceremonies, a common practice is to “Awaken the Dragon” by dotting the eyes of the Dragon’s heads of each of the boats. Historically, the Dragon was the favored symbol of the Emperor, and the best Chinese artists were commissioned. Shortly after one such artist put the finishing touches on his work by etching the eyes on his exquisite stone Dragon, thunder and turbulent weather swept the land. It was believed the mythical beast was “awakened” and had “come to life”. Also, the significance of the eye dotting was to impress the boats and their crews with the strength of the Dragon and the blessing of the Goddess of the Sea.
2018 Dragon Boat Races
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Team Sponsor – $12,500
- Recognition in the Dragon Boat 2016 promotional materials, Catholic Charities’ website, electronic and print communications, social media sites, and press releases
- Invitation to a special team-building kick-off event
- Invitation to the post-race party
- Opportunities to participate in special volunteer projects with a Catholic Charities’ program
- Support from a Catholic Charities program throughout summer and on Race Day
- Weekly practice sessions at Baltimore Marine Center in Canton during July and August
- Use of all equipment: dragon boats, life jackets, drums, and paddles
- Technique and strategy clinics by Baltimore Dragon Boat Club’s experienced coaches
- On Race Day, access to a team tent in “Tent City” to regroup and rest between races and entertain teammates and their guests
- T-shirt and bag for each paddler
- Opportunity to network and form relationships with other companies
Gold Sponsor – $25,000
- Team Sponsor perks plus:
- Prominent placement of company’s logo in Dragon Boat 2016 promotional materials as well as in “Tent City”, launching docks, and main stage
- Story featuring company’s involvement in Catholic Charities’ print and electronic communications
- Choice of Catholic Charities Partner Program and practice day and time slot
- Premier placement of tent in “Tent City”; a larger Team Tent with Gold Sponsor signage
- Commemorative paddle with company logo for each paddler
Diamond Sponsor – $35,000
- Gold Sponsor perks plus:
- Premiere exposure. For instance, company’s logo size is the largest used amongst sponsors to promote and recognize the company name and its partnership with Catholic Charities. Diamond Sponsor is referenced throughout Race Day during different segments taking place at the Main Stage (i.e. chant competitions, race calling, etc.)
Platinum Sponsor – $50,000
- Gold Sponsor perks plus:
- Premiere exposure. For instance, company’s logo size is the largest used amongst sponsors to promote and recognize the company name and its partnership with Catholic Charities. Platinum Sponsor is referenced throughout Race Day during different segments taking place at the Main Stage (i.e. chant competitions, race calling, etc.)
Breakfast Sponsor – $2,500
Your sponsorship will underwrite the cost of serving breakfast to the 1,000 paddlers before they begin an intense day of competition. There will be a sign identifying your company as the “Dragon Boat Breakfast Sponsor”. Your company will also receive recognition in the Dragon Boat brochure and on Catholic Charities’ website.
Entertainment Sponsor – $3,000
Your sponsorship will underwrite the entertainment expenses for the day’s festivities. The entertainment, including music, performers, and a tent filled with children’s activities, encourages many people walking along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to join the fun. There will be a sign next to the stage identifying your company as the “Dragon Boat Entertainment Sponsor”. Your company will also receive recognition in the Dragon Boat brochure and on Catholic Charities’ website.
Affinity Challenge T-shirt Sponsor – $5,000
Your sponsorship will underwrite the cost of the Affinity Challenge T-shirts given to 1,000 paddlers. Affinity challenges are time trials that take place between similar corporations, banks, non-profits, medical organizations, and construction businesses. Results of the time trails are used to seed teams in our three competitive brackets on Race Day. The shirt will include your logo and the event logo. Your company will also receive recognition in the Dragon Boat brochure and on Catholic Charities’ website.
Bag Sponsor – $7,500
This sponsorship will underwrite the cost of the Catholic Charities Dragon Boat giveaway bags. Bags are given to the event Steering Committee, participating Baltimore City Agencies, and 1,000 paddlers on Race Day and are very popular. The bag will include your logo and the event logo. Your company will also receive recognition in the Dragon Boat brochure and on Catholic Charities’ website.
Race Day T-shirt Sponsor – $10,000
This sponsorship will underwrite the cost of the Catholic Charities Dragon Boat T-shirts given to the event Steering Committee, participating Baltimore City Agencies, and 1,000 paddlers on Race Day. The shirt will include your logo and the event logo in addition to a listing of all sponsors. Your company will also receive recognition in the Dragon Boat brochure and on Catholic Charities’ website.
Lunch Sponsor – $10,000
Your sponsorship will underwrite the cost of serving lunch to the 1,000 paddlers on Race Day. There will be a sign identifying your company as the “Dragon Boat Lunch Sponsor”. Your company will also receive recognition in the Dragon Boat brochure and on Catholic Charities’ website.
Marina Sponsor – $12,500
This sponsorship will underwrite the cost of practice sessions at the Baltimore Marine Center in Canton. Each team practices once a week for eight weeks during the months of July and August. There will be a sign identifying your company as the “Dragon Boat Marina Sponsor”. Your company will also receive recognition in the Dragon Boat brochure, on Catholic Charities’ website, and will have the opportunity to place a promotional item in the paddler giveaway bags.
Information for Participants
Teams are comprised of 25 members (company employees, vendors, family, or friends.) There are 20 paddlers (minimum of 8 women), 1 drummer, and 1 steerer. The 3 other members rotate or serve as alternates.
Practices happen once a week for 8 weeks during a designated timeslot at the Baltimore Marine Center in Canton under the supervision of our coaching staff.
Race Day involves time trials to set brackets for elimination heats. The competition is exhilarating as teams battle throughout the day for the coveted Dragon Cup!
For those who want to join the fun and excitement of the Dragon Boats Races but aren’t inclined to paddle, there are team spirit competitions. Participants show off their creative sides as they decorate their team tent for the Tent Competition, write a song for the Chant Competition, and create a themed hat for the Hat Competition.
Teams have the unique opportunity to deeply engage with a program of Catholic Charities through volunteering. Your Paddler Relations Liaison (PRL) will work with your team to identify opportunities to improve the lives of the clients served by that program. Teams complete projects and host drives or events that not only help others, but that build lasting relationships among teammates and with the clients of Catholic Charities.
Through the Paddler Challenge, many teams choose to raise additional funds directly for their Partner Program from their personal networks.
June – Orientation workshops for team leaders known as Captain, Co-Captain, and Cruise Director (oversees Team Spirit Activities) will take place as well as a special event which celebrates team building, commitment, competition, and community.
July & August – Practice begins and lasts for 8 weeks. On land, teammates work on their entries for the tent, chant and hat contests.
September Date TBD – RACE DAY! Invite all of your employees and their family and friends to the Inner Harbor for a day of fun, festivities, and excitement.
Past Dragon Boat Races
2014 Dragon Boat Races Final Results
1st: T. Rowe Price
2nd: Brown Advisory
3rd: M&T Bank
1st: Hamel Builders
3rd: Pay Pal
2nd: PNC Bank
3rd: Wells Fargo
Drummer’s Hat Contest (ajudicated)
2. Notre Dame of Maryland University and US Air Force
3. T. Rowe Price
Race day photos and videos coming soon. Watch this page.
Dragon Village Tent Decorating
1. Whiting Turner
2. Catholic Charities
3. Wells Fargo
Chant/Fight Song Competition
1. Bank of America
2. Monsignor Slade School
3. T. Rowe Price
Race Results for the 2012 Dragon Boat Races
|1st place||T. Rowe Price||1:34.70 Best time of the day!|
|2nd place||M&T Bank||1:35.13||0.43|
|3rd place||Brown Advisory||1:40.80||6.10|
|1st place||Transamerica||1:44.71 Best rookie time of the day!|
|2nd place||Reznick Group||1:52.22||7.51|
|1st place||Office of the Mayor||1:49.60|
|2nd place||DST Brokerage Solutions||1:49.78||0.18|
|3rd place||Legg Mason||1:56.80||7.20|
Not all the competition was on the water. View the Team Spirit Awards here.
Bank Challenge Winner
M&T Bank (1:35.79 sec.)
Catholic Challenge Winner
Archdicese of Baltimore (1:53.71 sec.)
Construction Challenge Winner
Hamel Builders (1:41.96 sec.)
Corporate Challenge Winner
Constellation (1:43.91 sec.)
Corporate Rookie Challenge Winner
Priority Worldwide (1:56.95 sec.)
Financial Services Challenge Winner
T. Rowe Price (1:35.67 sec.)
Financial Services Rookie Challenge Winner
Reznick Group (1:45.88 sec.)
Government Challenge Winner
US Airforce (1:55.92 sec.)
Media/Communications Challenge Winner
Millennial Media (1:45.35 sec.)
Non-Profit Challenge Winner
United Way (1:53.75)
Check back soon.
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