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Dragons fire up for annual festival

August 20, 2014 - Dragon on the Lake kicks off this Friday and there's an added benefit to the fun.

Festival goers who take an evening run or try their luck at black jack will be giving back to the community.

It's the second year for the Friday night 5K run. Organized by the Lake Orion United Methodist Church, proceeds will benefit the Help Kids Succeed program, providing students in need in Lake Orion and Oxford with clothes, shoes, eyeglasses and supplies.

The run is sponsored by Crittenton Hospital and will take participants through the streets of Lake Orion. "It's a unique evening run," said Lauren Dinneweth, Director of the Orion Art Center, which produces Dragon on the Lake. "Afterward, runners can watch the Lighted Boat Parade on Lake Orion or catch some entertainment in the Dragon Pub."

Inside the Dragon Pub on Friday night, the Knights of Columbus will be offering a charity casino, with black jack, roulette and other games. Proceeds will benefit the Knights' charity efforts focused on family and community causes.

Dragon on the Lake began six years ago as a fundraiser for the Orion Art Center, a nonprofit arts organization. "The festival has grown exponentially," said Dinneweth. "Now, we're partnering with a variety of community organizations, allowing them to raise money for their own special causes," say Dinneweth.

In other areas of the festival, Dragon Boat teams are encouraged to row for good, gaining pledges for the charity of their choice.

The All Charity Auction hosted by the LOUMC allows participants to choose the charity of their choice with 100 percent of the proceeds returned to charity.

The Orion Art Center has also donated a portion of dragon boat races proceeds to fund cancer research and awareness.

For more information about the festival schedule and events go to or call the Orion Art Center at (248)693-4986.

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