The Dragons Are Coming April 12, 2019

Lake Charles, Louisiana – Dragons will invade the city Lakefront during the 2019 Dragon Boat Race on April 27, at 9:00 a.m. at the Lake Charles Civic Center Seawall. More than 30 local teams will compete for the top spot in their division.

The CHRISTUS Ochsner Southwestern Louisiana Foundation, along with presenting sponsors Louisiana Mortgage Associates and Golden Nugget Lake Charles, will host the seventh annual event to help support the efforts of the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) at CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana. This event is open and free to the public.

“The community’s participation in the event has always made a huge difference for the health of our kids in Southwestern Louisiana,” said Kay Barnett, CFRE, CHRISTUS Ochsner Southwestern Louisiana Foundation Executive Director. “This event is a gift that continues to impact children’s lives long beyond race day, and we are looking to make an even greater impact this year by adding more teams to the mix!”

A dragon boat is a human-powered watercraft. This amateur team paddling water sport has roots dating back 2,000 years to southern China where the ancient folk ritual involved races between contending villagers. Now, thousands of years later, the sport is still known for building teams and creating spirited fun.

“With our 2018 event, we raised more than $155,000 for Children’s Miracle Network efforts supporting CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital and CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital,” said Cara Wyland, Children’s Miracle Network Director, CHRISTUS Ochsner Southwestern Louisiana Foundation. “That money is now helping us fund critical life-saving equipment for babies being treated in our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Labor and Delivery Unit at CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital. These incredible programs, treatments and services make a real, tangible difference in the lives of children.”

In this year’s race, 32 teams will compete to capture the coveted traveling trophy that goes to the fastest team on the Lake. Each team consists of 20 members who paddle a 41-foot vessel to the beat of their team drummer. Each team will have 1 hour of practice the week of the race. Teams can develop a unique theme and team name and will compete in two races for their best time. After the qualifying races, all the teams are classified into three groups based on their best time and compete in a final race to determine the winners in each of the groups.

During the races, a Kid’s Activity Tent will be available from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Kids of all ages can enjoy arts and crafts, games, face-painting and more! There will be food and drink vendors, music and a family-friendly atmosphere. This is truly a community event for the whole family. The CHRISTUS Ochsner Southwestern Louisiana Foundation is excited to bring this opportunity to promote fitness and wellness in an atmosphere of camaraderie at our picturesque Lakefront Seawall and Boardwalk.

Proceeds will benefit CMN and will be used to purchase pediatric surgical and treatment equipment for CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana and to support special school-based programs in our five-parish area.

For more information on volunteering for the race, contact CMN Director Allison Schnake at or call (337) 430-5353.