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Dragon Boat Posters Support ‘Save A Sister’ Program
Raises funds for breast cancer screenings, education
Dr. Melissa Hulvat, director of the Bass Breast Center at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, talks about the Save a Sister program during the unveiling of the Montana Dragon Boat Festival's poster created by artist Nancy Cawdrey. - Lido Vizzutti | Flathead Beacon
Organizers of the Montana Dragon Boat Festival unveiled a commemorative poster that will raise money for the event’s primary beneficiary, the Save A Sister breast cancer prevention program. The poster was displayed at Kalispell Regional Medical Center on July 9. It features a painting of a dragon by Flathead Valley artist Nancy Cawdrey.

The second Montana Dragon Boat Races will be held Sept. 7 and 8 at the Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork. Ninety-four teams are registered in the race and proceeds from the event will support Save A Sister. The program educates people about breast cancer and provides free mammogram screenings to women and men in Northwest Montana. The program is a partnership between Kalispell Regional Healthcare, North Valley Hospital and the Flathead City-County Health Department.

“Dragon boat racing and cancer survivors have a very close relationship because the exercise and camaraderie is very beneficial,” said Diane Medler of the Kalispell Convention and Visitor Bureau. “This poster really captures the fun and color of dragon boat racing.”

Dr. Melissa Hulvat is director of the Bass Breast Center at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. She said the Save A Sister initiative fielded nearly 400 calls in 2012, offered 80 screening mammograms and 56 diagnostic mammograms for free. Some of the recipients were under the age of 40 and would have been unable to get the screening through their insurance provider. A standard mammogram cost upwards of $400.

“Every single dollar we get is spent on your sister, your mother, your neighbor,” she said. “It’s all local spending.”

Hulvat said one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and 200,000 women will get breast cancer every year.

The Montana Dragon Boat Festival poster featuring the artwork of Nancy Cawdrey is seen during its unveiling at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. - Lido Vizzutti | Flathead Beacon

Cawdrey was commissioned to paint the poster six weeks ago. She has made a name for herself over the last decade painting primarily western scenes on silk cloth. Cawdrey was concerned about having enough time to complete the poster, but in the end she said it worked perfectly.
“Sometimes if you overthink something, it won’t come out well,” she said.

Only 1,000 posters were printed and each will be sold for $20. Posters can be purchased at the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, online at www.MontanaDragonBoat.com, or at events in the valley. More information about the Save A Sister program is available at www.KalispellRegional.org.
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