GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — They’re called dragon boats, and Saturday they’re being used to help raise money to support people in Marshall County who need a hand.
The team for Marshall Christian School wears light blue shirts. They have a tent alongside the shore of Lake Guntersville at Civitan Park.
The name of the game is waiting. The other name of the game, is winning.
They’re partaking is what is called dragon boat racing, and Saturday, there’s more to the races than mere competition.
What they’re paddling the long canoe-like boats for, besides a hopeful win, is an organization that benefits those who need help in Marshall County.
“We’re having our second annual Dragon Boat Race, which is a fundraiser we use to build houses,” Margaret Lacey says.
Lacey is with the Habitat for Humanity of Marshall County. The race Saturday directly benefits that organization. “This is the only fundraiser we’ve done in the last two years,” Lacey says.
She says the event also helps raise awareness for the organization. Lacey says some people aren’t aware Marshall County has an affiliate.
Lacey says the boats are brought to Guntersville by a company in Tennessee, and the event is open to the public.
Nine teams from all over Marshall County are vying for that top spot of Dragon Boat Race winner.
As the heats progress, the Marshall Christian School team stands ready.
After getting into the long boats and gripping a paddle, they move out on Lake Guntersville with two other teams, and wait.
Finally, they’re off.
But — winning isn’t everything right?
There’s more at stake. “It doesn’t matter who wins or loses, it’s just a matter that we all come out, have a good time, and raise some money for Habitat for Humanity,” Marshall Christian School staff member Pam Miller says.
After the race the team sits back in their tent, and there’s smiles all around. After all, a close second isn’t that bad when it’s for a good cause.