A few weeks ago Dueling Dragons, a Central Florida nonprofit designed to build positive relationships between law enforcement and at-risk kids through the sport of Dragon Boating, held their Annual FundRaiser.
The program, created by Andrea Eliscu has been “making waves with cops and kids” since 2011. So far this year, Dragons has raised $52,000. Inching closer to their overall goal of $72,000.
Recently, Newschannel 13’s Ed Heiland spoke with Andrea about her organization. “Police officers and inner-city kids are usually not a team,” Eliscu told him. “And we put them together in a boat and say, ‘Let’s work together and see what happens.’ Nobody wants to see another Ferguson, another Trayvon Martin, another Madison Wisconsin. So, if you can change and create a relationship — if you can change some of that profiling.”
Steve Gunter owner of the Historic Dubsdread’s Tap Room, hosted the event as a donor himself. Teen paddlers and their paddling cop-teammates mixed with the nearly 100 guests who enjoyed a silent auction: which included a weekend at the Hyatt in Clearwater, Sapphire and Gold earrings designed by Lauren Sigman Jewelry, and a painting of love by nationally acclaimed artist Donna Dowless. Raffle items included a round of golf, a putter, and a golf bag. Packages such as, Ride-With-A-Cop & Spend-½-Day-With-SWAT-Team-Training were offered. As were purses, gift baskets and women’s jewelry.
If you’re looking to Just DO Something…Anything! to help improve relations with teens and law enforcement, discover this Orlando Police Officers and Local Teens organization. Dueling Dragons builds trust and helps these two groups grow together in a positive setting through a common experience. Officers and teens become mentors and friends throughout each ten-month season…while generational changes emerge as lasting bonds are made in the community.