Paddles up for $98,000

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Chris Higdon couldn’t thank the community enough on Saturday, after announcing the 17th annual Race on the River had raised $98,000.

The president of the New Glasgow Dragon Boat Society raved about the success of the event, which saw more than 35 teams participating.

“It’s remarkable the spirit we have. What a great place to live,” said Higdon, who is in his first year as president and fifth year on the board.

Money raised goes to three organizations: Women Alike Breast Cancer Survivors Society, Special Olympics Northern Region, and Pictou County Prostate Cancer Support Association. Over 17 years, the event has raised more than $2 million.

Glen Hynes and Joan Murray were the top pledge earners with $20,000. Other top pledge earners included Aaron Bryant with $4,118, Nathan Hynes with $2,720, and Shirley Murray with $2,590.

The top three fundraising teams were Crombie Crushers with $29,000, Women Alike with more than $12,000 and Team Elsie with in excess of $7,000.

“You’re surrounded by good people and it’s unbelievable the spirit, the moments — you can’t even name them all — the pink carnation ceremony, presenting medals to the Special Olympians. There’s no better feeling of joy in my heart ever than doing that. And telling the pledges at the end. It’s such a good feeling all over, there’s no way to describe it.”

Higdon said he was told the experience of the dragon boat races would be different for him this year as he took on the new position on the board, offering him an opportunity to see how it runs from another angle.

“It was just such a pleasure to see how it all rolled and help out on little things, but get an understanding of the bigger picture,” he said.

He said the event was fantastic and noted the weather co-operated, only raining for a short time on Saturday.