The Annual Ground Zero Dragon Boat Festival Goes Virtual

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by Melissa LaScaleia

Ground Zero non-profit 501(c)(3) is a not only a physical establishment in Myrtle Beach, but also a support network, where every teenager can go, belong and grow. 

Through life-changing experiences and nurturing relationships, Ground Zero makes a positive impact in the lives of today’s teenagers— empowering them and giving them the tools and support necessary to transform their lives and build a better future for themselves. 

Ground Zero offers these resources for junior high school and high school teens, years which for many, are difficult and complex. 

Traditionally, the Ground Zero Dragon Boat Festival is held annually at Grand Park in the Market Common the last Saturday of April. 

The festival serves a dual purpose— it’s Ground Zero’s largest annual fundraiser which keeps operations steady throughout the year and supports their youth programs, and is itself, a fun-filled, community-building activity that everyone looks forward to and rallies behind— whether as a spectator, sponsor, or participant in the races.

Around 8,000-10,000 people turn-out to witness and cheer-on the scores of brightly colored boats manned by local teams as they race against one another on the lake. 

There are DJs, vendors, and live entertainment in addition to the races— ensuring a very good time for all.

This year, Covid-19 raised many challenges for Ground Zero, first in postponing, then in how to coordinate appropriate social distancing at this local, beloved event. Consequently, this 12th year of celebrations will deviate from the norm and be held virtually, rather than physically. 

The Dragon Boat community has proven over the years that they are passionate, strong and dedicated to making a difference in the lives of local teenagers. That same spirit and momentum of support and strong purpose remains constant with this year’s Virtual Dragon Boat Races.

Throughout the month of August, via Facebook, video chats, and email, Ground Zero will lead Dragon Boat team members to raise funds for the ministry. There are incentives and prizes in store for those who rank among the highest fundraisers for this virtual race.

And new this year, they are launching the Your Year Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior for further education or any structured program that is beneficial for his or her faith and future.

Mark your calendars for August 22; there will be a live TV broadcast from Ground Zero for reports on how much they’ve raised, how much there is left to achieve, and all-around celebrations for what has been and continues to be accomplished.

We’re all in this boat together right now, proverbially, if not physically speaking. So let’s continue to make a difference and a positive impact.

Ground Zero Ministries and the 12th Annual Dragon Boat Festival Virtual Fundraiser

To get involved visit:

Or contact Kaydee Culclasure:

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