Community Outreach

2019 events

Saturday, May 14, 2016, 10:00 - 11:30 AM

Health Care Practitioners Paddle with the Pinks

Every breast cancer survivor has a team of health care supporters which might include surgeons, oncologists, chemo nurses, social workers, complementary care providers and the receptionist in radiology who always greets her with an encouraging smile. Pink Phoenix members want to give their health care team members an authentic dragon boat experience and a reason to recommend Pink Phoenix to future patients. Paddle with us. Hear our stories. See the Willamette River from a new perspective and learn why we love the fastest growing water sport in the world. No experience required. Vests and paddles provided. Donations welcome but this is a no cost event. For more information, contact


Background: Read about Dr. Don McKenzie's research focused on dragon boating, lymphedema and breast cancer survivors in the ​Canadian Medical Association Journal. McKenzie is considered the father of BCS dragon boating in Canada. Portland's Pink Phoenix, conceived in 1996 and launched in 1997, was not part of this research study but our paddlers attest to the benefit of physical exercise in their lives.

Breast Cancer Survivor (BCS) dragon boating is a worldwide phenomena! There are more than least 150 BCS teams on five continents. Pink Phoenix is a proud member of the International Breast Cancer Paddlers' Commission

Quotes from 2015 Participants: 

  • It was touching when we stopped the boat and the caller talked about why care providers were so important and shared a personal story.
  • I loved hearing people's stories. You are all amazing and an inspiration! I have already recommended your team.
  • Seeing all of the survivors and their sheer joy of paddling was fantastic.
  • I loved seeing the camaraderie among the survivors. I felt welcomed and will definitely return in future years. Thank you for hosting such a wonderful event.


The Gorman Cup

Local breast cancer survivors are invited to paddle or ride-along with Pink Phoenix members and other BCS paddlers in a wild, loud and colorful race across the Willamette during the Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races. The Pinks have organized this race since 1998 as a way to honor the life of original team captain Michele Gorman. BCS paddlers from local and out-of-town teams, as well as non-paddling survivors from our community, are invited to honor Michele's memory by joining the competition and enjoying the day. We race for bragging rights and just because we can! No experience is necessary and we make room for survivors who would like to ride along but not paddle.

The race is held at about noon (during the break between morning and afternoon heats) on the Saturday of the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race (first Saturday in June). More details will be provided as we get closer to the event.