Q&A with team captain Julie Yandt
Q: Tell us about your team – who are your members?
A: We are a family team with a few friends who are just like family! Grandma, mom, daughter, sisters, cousins, in-laws, and “frieamily”, ranging in age from 16 to 61.
Q: Are you all long-time participants or new to Dragon Boat?
A: This will be our 5th year and most of us are returning members. Many of us paddled for other teams before forming our own, dating back to 2006. Others have been active fundraisers for other teams, and we have a wide crew of family cheerleaders!
Q: What motivated you to participate?
A: My mom, Katherine Yandt, is a survivor of breast cancer and she truly has been our inspiration. We have an additional survivor on our team this year who we are proud to support. Many of us also have close loved ones and friends who have fought their own battle with breast cancer. Unfortunately some have lost their battle over the years. We hold each and every person who has been touched by cancer in our hearts and in our fighting spirit when we hit the water each year.
Q: What's your favourite memory with your team?
A: We have enjoyed finding new and exciting ways to fundraise each year; friendly competitions with other teams; and last year my daughter joined our team, so we now have three generations on the boat. When I look at our team huddled around the tent each year, it is the most amazing feeling. Seeing each of us give our time and energy to support a cause so near and dear to everyone makes me so unbelievably proud. Every year my team shows up, never gives up, and leaves it all on the water. I am incredibly proud of each of them and I can’t thank them enough for their love and support each year.
Q: How have you boosted your fundraising?
A: Last year we raised over $10,000 and looking back we don’t even know how we did it! We were so close to the Lair but were beat out at the very last minute by RBC. Hitting that level makes us more proud than anything. When you put your heart into a cause and you surround yourself with love and family, anything is possible.
Q: Do you have any training/preparation tips to share with new participants?
A: Ensure your team is aware of the importance of showing up for practice. This is key. It’s not to win the races but to keep everyone safe and have fun. That really is the bottom line… have fun! When you work so hard to make the day come together, you want the smiles on everyone’s face to be brighter than the ribbons you bring home.