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Unique fundraiser delivers more than money for Roanoke non-profit

By Joe Dashiell, jdashiell@wdbj7.com
Published On: Sep 16 2013 07:29:43 PM EDT
Updated On: Sep 16 2013 08:07:31 PM EDT

We came in far from first, but had a great time raising money for a great cause.

ROANOKE, Va. -

An unusual fundraiser brought hundreds of people to Smith Mountain Lake on Saturday, and raised thousands of dollars for a worthy cause. Organizers say it's also having a ripple effect in the community.

16 teams competed in the second Smith Mountain Lake Dragon Boat Race and Festival on Saturday.

Many groups without any experience in the sport grabbed paddles and life preservers to do battle near Parkway Marina.

The event raised money for the Presbyterian Community Center and also helped raise community interest  in the organization.

Karen McNally is the Executive Director.  "It has involved so many volunteers who are learning about our work for the first time," McNally said, "and getting the word to the Roanoke community and the Lake community of the work that we're doing here."

The center has after school programs for children as well as programs that feed the hungry and prevent homelessness.

Last year the dragon boat race brought in more than $10 thousand for the Center. Organizers haven't tallied this year's numbers yet, but they hope to surpass the total from 2012.