Victoria, B.C., August 9, 2011 – Victoria’s Inner Harbour will glow in support of cancer research with the Lights of Courage Campaign during the 2011 Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, August 12 – 14th, benefitting the BC Cancer Foundation.

BC Cancer Agency researcher and dragon boater, Katy Milne, knows first-hand the value of fundraising. Her team, Paddlers of the Fifth Moon, is racing in this year’s Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival and is one of eight teams raising money in support of the BC Cancer Foundation.

“Dragon boat racing helps to keep you fit and healthy, and, we can paddle for a purpose—to raise awareness and dollars for cancer research,” says Milne. “Being a cancer researcher, I'm acutely aware of how important community fundraising is to help fuel the drive toward improving cancer treatment through research.”

This event provides valuable research dollars for Milne and her fellow scientists to help find answers in the quest to solve cancer. Milne is currently looking at how to utilize a patient’s own immune cells to help target and combat their cancer.

For the sixth consecutive year thousands of lanterns will be on display during the three-day festival, honouring those impacted by cancer. Participants can write a message on the lantern’s tail honouring someone they know who has been diagnosed with or affected by cancer.

“The BC Cancer Foundation is grateful for the tremendous support of the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival’s Lights of Courage Campaign. All funds from the lantern sales directly support breakthrough cancer research and enhancements to patient care at the BC Cancer Agency’s Vancouver Island Centre,” says Douglas Nelson, President and CEO, BC Cancer Foundation.”

The paper lanterns are available at all local Fairway Market stores, Denny’s Restaurant and at The Bay Centre for a small donation of $3. Businesses and organizations can purchase a bulk number of lanterns, and the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival will then arrange payment and delivery to the site. Community members can also purchase lanterns at the BC Cancer Foundation tent in the Inner Harbour during the Festival weekend.

Nearly half of the teams in the women’s division at the 2011 Victoria Dragon Boat Festival are cancer survivors, which truly illustrates some of the progress made in cancer treatment. Yet, Milne reminds, “there is more we must learn, together with the generosity and supportive spirit of the community, we can strive for more solutions.”

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The BC Cancer Foundation is the bridge that connects philanthropic support and research breakthroughs in cancer knowledge. As the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in this province, we enable donors to make contributions to leading-edge research that has a direct impact on improvements to cancer care for patients in British Columbia. We fund with the goal of finding solutions. As an independent charitable organization, we raise funds exclusively for the BC Cancer Agency that support innovative cancer research and compassionate enhancements to patient care. Visit www.bccancerfoundation.com to make a donation or to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.

Media Contacts:
Allison Colina, Communications Specialist
BC Cancer Foundation
604.707.5934
Allison.Colina@bccancer.bc.ca

Karen Batchelor, Communications Coordinator
Victoria Dragon Boat Festival Society
250.704.2500
communications@victoriadragonboat.com