2nd Annual Bring HOPE Dragon Boat Race for Suicide Prevention

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If you’ve never attended or participated in a Dragon Boat Race – THIS IS YOUR CHANCE! In last year’s inaugural event, nine teams of 21 people raced for the win in the Bring HOPE Dragon Boat Race held at The Gulf Restaurant on Okaloosa Island. The City of Fort Walton Beach took the Mayor’s Cup race and a group from Hurlburt Field took the Commander’s Cup race. Teams from companies like Eglin Federal Credit Union (already registered as one of this year’s big sponsors), Bridgeway and the Fort Walton Elks Lodge #1795 laughed and cheered their way through the day having fun and working for the mission of SAVING LIVES.

This year’s race is slated for Saturday, September 7th, and will be back at The Gulf. Festivities begin at 9 a.m. starting with the parade of costumes and the dotting of the dragon’s eye to kick off the races. The races should conclude around 3 p.m. followed by a celebration party, complete with live music, food and drinks. Check out photos from last year’s race, sign up to become a sponsor or register a team by visiting https://BringHopeNow.com. With a limit of 20 teams this year, spots are filling up fast. The deadline for entry is the end of July. But, don’t wait!

Bring Hope Dragon Boat Race BoatIn 2019, two thought leaders came together to solve a quickly growing problem: Okaloosa County and more-so, Northwest Florida, having one of the fastest growing and highest youth suicide rates in the state. Together with a great team and a whole lot of community support, they began solving that concern. David Triana, founder of United for a Good Cause, Inc (U4aGC) and entrepreneur Peggy Brockman agreed that although it was not the mission of U4aGC, it was a problem big enough that something should be done. They secured the URL BringHopeNow.com with the thought they might one day need to separate into two organizations in order to grow forward. With that, they began bringing HOPE to the community through a national peer-to-peer suicide prevention program designed for schools.

After achieving their original goal of making sure every school in the Okaloosa School District had a paid for program, they exceeded that goal by making sure other school districts also had free access to the program and helped schools in two other districts get up and running.

Bring Hope Now, Inc. (BHN) became an official 501c3 charitable foundation in the fall of 2023 after accomplishing its original mission with U4aGC of raising and funding over a half million dollars for school programs. It established the Bring HOPE Dragon Boat Race & Festival in September of 2023 to serve as an annual fundraiser for suicide prevention. In February of 2024, U4aGC and BHN officially separated so Bring HOPE Now could begin working on the next phase of its mission of saving lives – focusing on ensuring every family with a child who needs long-term mental health treatment can receive that locally and that every military base could have a peer program to help stop the rise in active-duty suicides.

They will also team up with other non-profits to create postvention teams for family and group support in the unfortunate event of a suicide, completing its mission of prevention, intervention and postvention. It will continue to support area schools with needed supplies and special funding for their HOPE programs and will help provide QPR Gatekeeper Training to as many groups, businesses and organizations as possible, so more people come to know the warning signs of suicide and how to have the right conversation with people they are concerned about.

Suicide prevention, intervention and postvention is a community responsibility. Together we can save lives! Join us as we continue to Bring HOPE Now to our communities!! For more information, contact Peggy Brockman, BringHopeNow22@gmail.com.