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St. John the Evangelist School Competes in Catholic Charities Dragon Boat Races

Sep 15, 2016 11:46AM ● By Cate Reynolds

Photo courtesy of St. John the Evangelist School

“Today we’re racing, we’ll paddle hard. We got the spirit from our people near and far.”

Across the Inner Harbor in Baltimore echoed the words of the St. John the Evangelist dragon racing team song on September 10. Spirit indeed they did bring!

At the end of May as school was wrapping up, the faculty and staff enthusiastically signed on to sponsor a dragon boat for Catholic Charities’ Dragon Boat Races 2016. The biennial event is one of the largest fundraisers for Catholic Charities in Baltimore and drew an estimated 10,000 people to the Inner Harbor.

The faculty of St. John the Evangelist School in Severna Park initiated all facets of dragon racing. Their dedication to the school children and to one another was amazing throughout the summer practices and on race day.
Photo courtesy of St. John the Evangelist School
Over the summer, 24 faculty members practiced every Tuesday night in Canton, learning how to make the dragon boat move, from getting aboard the 41 foot vessel to paddling unison to race sequences. Their hard work and dedication to one another paid off in their successful outing. The St. John boat competed successfully in three races, finishing in the top three each time.

Other members of the faculty joined the festivities by participating in the spirit competition that included a tent decorating competition and the performance of a team song. On stage in front of a large audience the faculty performed their song to the tune of “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” which won the school first place in the team song competition.
Photo courtesy of St. John the Evangelist School
The experience was about much more than paddling. The school community raised more than $4,000 for their benefitting charity the DePaul House, which offers rent-assisted housing for seniors. In addition to raising money, students and teachers have taken time to visit the residents and enjoy snacks, crafts and games. “We have a commitment to raise money but also to build community, to create relationships with the seniors that live there,” explained Principal Casey Buckstaff. “It shows the students and the faculty that there are so many ways to serve and to build community.”

As the life vests dry-off in the sun, the school is already planning for the next dragon racing event in 2018! Saint John the Evangelist will be there!