Sun. Aug 14th, 2022

Every year the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival attracts thousands of visitors from across Canada and beyond. This year was no different.

Roughly 200 teams competed in the nation’s capital over the weekend to row their hearts out and raise funds for the Ottawa Dragon Boat Foundation (ODBF), which to date has supported over 65 community-based non-profits, including Cornerstone Housing for Women, Shelter Movers Ottawa and Ottawa Anglican Day Programs.

This year, 21 brave Algonquin College employees took to the waters to compete for the first time in the Education Challenge Cup, alongside other teams whose members attend or work for educational institutions, administration, or associated parent advisory associations.

The team dubbed themselves the Bizzy Barflies, a named dreamed up by their team captain, Kerry Surman, meant to play on the integrated themes of business and hospitality. Bizzy Barflies competed in three races on Saturday, June 25 at Mooney’s Bay.

School of Hospitability and Tourism Administrative Assistant, Khalila McFadden, led the charge – providing words of encouragement as the team’s coxswain. From bow to stern, the remaining 20 rowers included: Melanie Haskins, Kerry Surman, Margaret O’Brien, Deanna Douglas, Julie Beauchamp, Cory Haskins, Marco Campagna, Dave Bedard, Norman Hotchkiss, Antonios Vitaliotis, Katherine Root, Ray Gotceitas, Noni Stukel, Wendy Threader, Laurie Logan, Cheryl Dowell, Cathy Dewar, Krishna Tiwari, Nat Stone, and Taiwo Abraham.

As a brand-new team, they joke that they were very much focused on crossing the finish line with the entire team still aboard. However, they say the real victory was not making it across the line, but taking part in a community-focused fundraiser that supports local residents.

Funds raised by the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival are donated through the ODBF to inspiring local non-profits providing essential programs and services to thousands of children and families across the Ottawa region.

Interested in showing your AC pride? Consider making a pledge to the Bizzy Barflies today and have a hand in uplifting your community: https://raceroster.com/events/2022/54508/2022-tim-hortons-ottawa-dragon-boat-festival/fundraising-organization/33811#event-description

Bizzy Barflies team pictured at the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday, June 25th


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