May 17, 2017 - Sargent & Lundy’s Chattanooga, Tennessee chapter of North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN) recently participated in an annual Dragon Boat Festival sponsored by the Erlanger Health System (EHS) Foundation, benefiting the Children's Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga.
The highlight of the festival was a dragon boat race in which teams of 20 paddlers, a drummer (who also serves as the team’s mascot), and a race steerer race in authentic 46-foot long dragon boats. Fleets of colorful dragon boats raced to the beat of a Chinese Drum during this exhilarating and friendly competition intended to build community spirit while raising money for the Children's Hospital. The team is already anticipating next year’s event.
While our team, named “Gone Fission,” didn’t place in the competition, as the team’s Co-Captain Joshua Risinger explained, the event wasn’t just about winning a race.
“It was a festival of charity, competition, and colorful celebration. It was also a true team building experience. Dragon boat is not just about rowing, but synchronization within the entire team while incorporating a few different rowing patterns. It is much more difficult than it seems,” Joshua said.
The dragon boat festival is one of the EHS Foundation’s major fundraising events supporting the Children’s Hospital. As the fundraising arm of the hospital, the foundation supports the mission of the non-profit academic health system affiliated with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, dedicated to providing world-class healthcare. Erlanger, through its multi-hospital system, provides medical care to children and adults regardless of ability to pay.
Funds raised from the 11th Annual Children's Hospital Dragon Boat Festival will help build the new Children's Hospital and Outpatient Center in Chattanooga, which will serve multiple states and will have the ability to treat tens of thousands of patients. The foundation exceeded its goal of $100,000, raising more than $130,000.
NAYGN provides opportunities for a young generation of nuclear enthusiasts to develop leadership and professional skills, create life-long connections, engage and inform the public, and inspire today’s nuclear technology professionals to meet the challenges of the 21st century.