Families cheer on rowers as Dueling Dragons teams compete for first time

Dueling Dragons of Orlando, founded by College Park resident Andrea Eliscu, hosted Family Day last month on Lake Fairview.

The original dragon boating teams included at-risk youth paired with officers from the Orlando Police Department. Recently, the Dueling Dragons club merged with the Firefighters & Kids dragon boating program, which also pairs youth with members of the Orlando Fire Department.

Family members of the children, many who live in high-crime neighborhoods, were invited to cheer for their teams at the Family Day event.

The Warriors on the Water dragon boat team, founded by Eliscu and comprised of breast cancer survivors, also joined in the competition.

Now in its seventh season, Dueling Dragons became an official program of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida this year.

“We couldn’t be more excited to join forces with Dueling Dragons,” said BGCCF CEO Gary Cain. “This program has an amazing track record at establishing trust between law enforcement and at-risk youth, which has long been a goal of BGCCF.”

Cain and Eliscu, along with OPD Lieutenant Jim Young, Fire Chief Roderick Williams and OPD officer Marlon McLain, welcomed 200 friends and family members at Lake Fairview.

“The Dueling Dragons Family Day was a huge success,” Eliscu said.

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