Member Benefits

Benefits of Machestic Dragon Membership

The Machestic Dragons, a 501 (c)3 nonprofit, is open to all breast cancer survivors (BCS), regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. Family members and friends (supporters) are welcome to join and paddle as well (must be at least 14 years of age). All members may participate in practices, BCS team members compete in BCS-specific races/divisions and supporter members compete in other race divisions.

Our mission:
To raise awareness of breast cancer and the benefits of dragon boat paddling.
To show and mentor others who are weakened by the struggle with breast cancer that there is life after this disease.
To encourage and empower ourselves and others to face our dragons with an indomitable spirit.
To look beyond today to a future filled with hope and promise.

Some scientific research studies say dragon boat paddling is the BEST long-term therapy – both physically and mentally – for breast cancer survivors. Joining the Machestic Dragons offers a healthy activity with others who have shared the breast cancer journey. No special athletic skills or prior experience needed!

A membership option offers a Non-Paddling Associate Member at a reduced membership fee. This member plays a supporting role on the team and receives all benefits listed except those related with participation IN the boat (i.e. may not be a paddler at any practice or event).

Paddlership FundNo breast cancer survivor should be prevented from joining the Machestic Dragons because of the cost of annual membership dues. To assist those who demonstrate a true financial hardship, the Paddlership Fund is available to BCS members confidentially on a case-by-case basis.
For more information about Paddlerships, please email your questions to:

Insurance – Covers Machestic Dragon members at practices, races, and other Machestic events.

Equipment – Basic equipment, paddles, personal flotation devices (PFDs-life vests), butt pads, and boats used at practice sessions are available to members.

Our Dragon Boats – We use full size (40’) dragon boats that seat 20 paddlers, a drummer up front and a steerer/coach in back.
Our first dragon boat came to us in 2003 courtesy of ICEA of Long Beach California.
We purchased our second boat – and it was delivered to Mercer Lake on May 10, 2011.
We purchased a new boat and it was delivered to Mercer Lake on June 23, 2016.
In July 2016, we donated our original boat to the River Sisters in Camden, our “sister” BCS team.

Coaching/Practice – The paddling season (mid-April to mid-October) offers coached practices Tuesday and Thursday evenings and sometimes a Sunday morning when the team practices on its own in a more relaxed environment. You may attend any practice. We use an electronic practice sign up program.

Races – The Machestic Dragons participate in festivals/races primarily on the U.S. east coast. A Race Committee evaluates dates, registration costs and travel considerations. The Breast Cancer Survivor (BCS) team races in the BCS division, or an all-women’s team (BCS and female supporters) race in Women’s Sport. Occasionally, if we have women and men we may race in an Open Sport or Mixed Sport division. The Machestic Dragons pay toward race registration fees as the annual budget allows, generally 4 to 5 festivals annually.

Winter Fitness Training – Before paddling season starts we offer fitness training with certified trainers for a minimal fee. An Indoor paddle pool may be offered. Members are welcome to participate as space allows.

Lymphedema Sleeve – The Machestics will reimburse BCS members for a lymphedema (arm swelling) sleeve/gauntlet up to $50 each year that is not otherwise covered by insurance.

Communications – In addition to customary email, telephone and meetings, the Machestic Dragons use Sign up Genius (SUG) for practices, races, and team fundraisers and events. The Machestic Dragons have two websites – and and are on Twitter and Facebook.

Volunteer, Fundraising Social Events – (Paddle for Pink, Golf Outing, Food/Wine events, etc.) Being a Machestic is not just about physical recovery, but also about emotional recovery enhanced by social interaction with fellow survivors and supporters. We love to laugh!

Camaraderie – it can’t get much better! The members of the Machestic Dragons believe in savoring the moment – without any pity parties – and embrace a nurturing, mentoring, supportive environment. The members are strong, resilient, people who care about others and are determined to take care of themselves in order to be strong for others. The Machestic Dragons have a firm commitment to the organization’s mission within the breast cancer community and strive to demonstrate strong leadership in promoting breast cancer awareness, finding a cure, having a positive outlook and living a healthy lifestyle. We are NJ’s First Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Team!