July 8, 2009

Meet more of the Dragon Boat teams...

Last week, we printed some brief biographies of a number of the teams that will compete in this weekend's Great Midwest Dragon Boat festival. Here are a few more:

Flynnigan's Wake: "Move over Gramma... this ain’t no funeral!" The Flynn Family and friends have had a team in the race every year since the first Great Midwest Dragon Boat Festival in 2004. Flynnigan’s Wake is sponsored by DP Wigley, Minuteman Press, AD-vantage Promotions, Sophisticatering, and Hop to It -- all Flynn family-owned businesses. Our matriarch and patriarch, Joan and Larry Flynn, were topnotch paddlers (just ask the naughtier kids.) Their nine children, now in their 40s and 50s, enlisted spouses and friends to join the team to make up the 22 it takes to fill the boat. Look for the younger generation of Flynns to take over, as there are 22 nieces and nephews waiting in line to paddle!

Sentient: Team Sentient is sponsored by George's tavern and Redline Tavern; the name was chosen by one of the sponsors. This will be the team's fourth year participating; most of the team has been on the boat all four years. The team is made up of friends; "some of us didn't know each other until we got together to race the first year. Since then, we have built strong friendships and have gained new friends each year. Our team likes the socializing and competitiveness of the races. We come together to help raise money for Rotary clubs and for a great day of fun together." --Tracey Larrin

Golden Wing Dragons: The team is composed of employees and family members from True Life Homes LLC, its sponsor. True Life provides services to residents with developmental disabilities in a group home environment with 24-hour care. The name was chosen by employees.This is the team's first year competing; team captain Rosie Rodriguez previously competed with Racine county and she thought up the idea of a company team.

Rowing Stones: The dragon boat festival sounded like a good opportunity for the not-necessarily-young-or-buff folks to get out and compete in an athletic sport. Forming a work team -- work being Victory Lakes Continuing Care Center in Lindenhurst, IL -- seemed like better odds than a family team to gather 21 people who must get along before and after the practices and race day. Our team has had the medical director, director of nursing, wound care specialist, numerous occupational and physical and speech therapists, nurses, social workers, secretaries, maintenance, pharmacist, and marketing, along with various dependable family members. The Village at Victory Lakes is a Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Community and is our sponsor. The Rowing Stones name was felt to best describe our athleticism, it could represent our swiftness as rowing stones gather no barnacles or our stiffness as stones with.... guitars? no... paddles attached. Our first year we were almost last, but over the years we've risen to mingle in the algae at the top of the Pearl Division and in the medical field category. Eight to ten of the Stones have remained anchored in the team from the start and helped to recruit others. --Gail Treffinger

Calvary Clippers: The team is co-sponsored by Wilson Funeral Home and Calvary Memorial Church. This year is our sixth year of participation; a special thanks to Wilson Funeral Home for faithfully sponsoring us each year. This team is mostly made up of people who regularly attend the services of Calvary Memorial Church. --Dan Mouw

Wet Kennels: The Wet Kennels are named for the Ukranian Dragon Boat pioneers Irene and Boon Kennel. Most of the paddlers in the boat are direct descendants, spouses or family friends. They have been racing for five years and are self sponsored through a variety of careers, odd jobs and borrowing cash from their underwater mortgages. They enjoy getting together for long weekends practicing in the Root River and the adrenaline rush of the racing start. The Wet Kennel members travel in from many states, including Montana, North Carolina, Florida and even Illinois. --Eric Ohler

Our earlier list of teams is HERE.

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