July 21, 2018 7:44 pm
Updated: July 23, 2018 11:46 am

Team-building for a good cause at the Dragon Boat Festival

WATCH ABOVE: The FMG Saskatoon Dragon Boat Festival raised money for the Children's Wish Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities on Saturday.

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The competition was heating up on the South Saskatchewan River on Saturday.

The annual FMG Saskatoon Dragon Boat Festival at Rotary Park saw around 800 participants divided into 32 corporate and community teams.

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“This is the exclamation point for most of our summer,” said Darcy DeForest, the event manager.

DeForest said the festival is a one-of-a-kind team-building event.

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“All of a sudden, there’s that magical moment when they become a team. It’s fun for me to watch it happen and we see people come back to work and they’re a team. They started as individuals in the boat and come back as a team,” explained DeForest.

All the money raised from the event went to the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and Ronald McDonald House Charities Saskatchewan.

“We’ve raised around $135,000 to $140,000 every year and we’re on par to do that, if not more this year, which is fantastic,” said Shelley Dodds, the resource development manager with Children’s Wish Foundation.

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Payton Hudye, 14, was at the event as the Ronald McDonald House ambassador.

“I was diagnosed in October of 2017. We had to stay to stay in Saskatoon for the majority of the first few months that I was getting treatment,” said Payton.

She spent 135 days initially at the Ronald McDonald House after she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

The Hudye family said the support they’ve received while staying in the house has been incredible, as they live three hours from the city.

“To be able to stay someplace where people are so friendly and so helpful and so very genuine is amazing. It’s so incredibly well run,” said Jamie Hudye, Payton’s father.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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