L.A. County Sup. Gloria Molina joined the county’s Department of Park and Recreation and the International Culture Exchange Association (ICEA) to host the 2012 L.A. Dragon Boat Festival – and to watch her team take home the gold! The race took place on Saturday, August 18, 2012 at Legg Lake Park within the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte.
“The Molinistas” included First District staff members Edgar Cisneros, Springsong Weiner(who served as team captain), Martha “Marty” Jimenez, Steven J. Reyes, Jorge Morales, and Sergio Vasquez. First District press intern Jacqueline Moreno and Daniel Weiner, husband to Springsong Weiner, along with Gloria Netland – a beloved Sheriff’s Dept. security officer stationed at the Hall of Administration – rounded out The Molinista team.
After rowing a morning qualifying race, The Molinistas used the inspiring words of ceremonial speakers such as Dr. Howard Chen – President of the ICEA and founder of the Southern California Dragon Boat Association – to come in first place in their afternoon race. After a third and final race, The Molinistas overcame oppressive heat to win the first place in their division by almost an entire boat length! Read the San Gabriel Valley Tribune’s coverage and view video of this exciting race!
The L.A. Dragon Boat Festival was not only one of the largest dragon boat competitions in California but also featured a Chinese Dragon Dance performance, a DJ, and a closing ceremony to recognize the 40 teams honored in the celebration. Families of each team gathered under tents, many sharing food in potluck fashion to enjoy the day. The Molinistas wish to thank Dr. Chen, coach Nathan Salazar, and of course, Sup. Gloria Molina herself for a win they will not forget as they continue the dragon boat tradition!