14 of Ireland’s biggest property companies are combining as cornerstone sponsors of a dragon boat racing fundraising event to raise over €300,000 for Dublin Simon Community and local charities. The Dragons at the Docks event returns as a physical event on Thursday 1 September 2022, after two years of virtual events during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since its launch in 2017, the Dragon Boat racing fundraiser has raised over €1m for charity, with almost €700,000 going to Dublin Simon Community. The funds raised have helped to purchase 23 homes, allowing 26 adults and 8 children to move out of homelessness and into permanent housing. Funds raised in 2022 could provide enough money to support the acquisition of around 10 new homes
Dublin Simon Community uses an innovative funding model whereby every €25,000 provides enough capital to secure the acquisition of a 1-bedroom apartment. It is then able to finance the balancing amount via loans which are repaid through the housing related income support (such as HAP) that is available to the occupant. This model has proven effective in providing permanent, safe homes for people and families who have battled through homelessness.
When the first event was held in 2017 there were 6 anchor sponsor companies, 60 teams and 720 participants. This year the event is aiming for record participation of 84 teams and over 1,200 participants.
Anchor sponsors have more than doubled since 2017 with the following 14 companies now involved: Activate Capital, Avestus, Ballymore Group, BCP, Cairn Homes, Dalata, Glenveagh Properties, Henderson Park, Hibernia REIT, Hines, Ires Reit, Kennedy Wilson, Lioncor, Quintain
Boats will launch from Capital Dock, Dublin 2 for an afternoon of racing. A team will comprise 11 competitors (10 rowers and a drummer), and each team member will receive a race pack, team t-shirt and entry to after race BBQ and entertainment.
Speaking about the event, Sam McGuinness CEO of Dublin Simon Community said: “The Dragons at the Docks event organisers and participants have shown great enthusiasm and support over the years to help us acquire badly needed homes for people experiencing homelessness. The ambitious new fundraising goal will give even more people the chance to rebuild their lives and move out of homelessness into safe and secure homes. Dragons at the Docks is now one of Dublin Simon Community’s essential annual fundraising events, and has only been made possible by the strong involvement and keenness of the country’s biggest property companies in grasping this challenge to make a difference.”
Kevin Nowlan, CEO of Hibernia REIT, one of the 14 main sponsors of the event, said: “We are delighted to be able to hold the event properly this year after two years impacted by Covid. Interest in participating is bigger than ever and this year we’re raising our fundraising goal to €300,000, almost double what we raised when the event started in 2017. We encourage companies to get involved and enter a team for a great day of competition in the water and on the shore.”
75% of the funds raised will go to the Dublin Simon Community, with the balance to be distributed to local charities in the Grand Canal Dock area.