LAKE CHARLES, La., May 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- On Saturday, April 28, TeamCITGO volunteers paddled their way to another victory and another successful day of fundraising at the sixth-annual CHRISTUS St. Patrick Foundation Dragon Boat Race. TeamCITGO participants have competed and won the race every year since it was brought to Lake Charles in 2012 and raised a total of approximately $688,000.

TeamCITGO paddlers with the 2018 Dragon Boat Race trophy.

The popular fundraiser for CHRISTUS St. Patrick Foundation's Children's Miracle Network, a program that raises funds for children's hospitals, medical research and community awareness of children's health issues, sets 27 teams against each other in a series of friendly races on Lake Charles. The 21-man Chinese-style dragon boats add an extra element of fun and challenge, requiring teamwork and synchronization to navigate a 600-foot stretch of the Lake.

CITGO Vice President and General Manager Jerry Dunn said that although volunteers practice months ahead of time and take the race seriously, they're in it to win it for the children.

"CITGO is proud to continue its 30-year history with the Children's Miracle Network," explained Dunn. "The tradition continues as the Dragon Boat Race brings festivity, community spirit and friendly competition to our community. We are proud of our TeamCITGO volunteers for their dedication to this great event. We are even more proud to be part of such a worthwhile cause."

In addition to participating in the race, TeamCITGO volunteers raised $1,270 for the Children's Miracle Network by selling commemorative t-shirts. During the event, TeamCITGO volunteers also served as deck hands, assisting teams get in and out of boats safely.

Executive Director of Development of CHRISTUS St. Patrick Foundation Kay Barnett said TeamCITGO volunteers, even though serious, have a lot of fun. "They know how to row! They bring a special spirit to the competition and put their hearts and souls into our event, which means so much to us. Team CITGO has passion to make a difference by fundraising to help us provide the pediatric care that is needed in our area through the CHRISTUS St. Patrick Foundation's Children's Miracle Network," said Barnett.

"TeamCITGO continues to raise the bar," added Children's Miracle Network Director and CHRISTUS St. Patrick Foundation Annual Events Manager Cara Wyland. "And I don't just mean on the water – though they've certainly proved it there. TeamCITGO makes a huge difference year-in and year-out by raising funds for the Children's Miracle Network. We so appreciate their work!"

About TeamCITGO:
TeamCITGO celebrates its 31st anniversary this year. As the first employee-led industrial volunteer group in the area, TeamCITGO continues to model the characteristics that make Southwest Louisiana a great place to call home. Volunteers average upwards of 3,500 hours of community service annually in Southwest Louisiana.

About the Dragon Boat Race:
CHRISTUS St. Patrick Foundation's sixth annual Dragon Boat Race, held on April 28, benefits the Children's Miracle Network program in Southwest Louisiana. The funds raised are used to purchase state-of-the-art pediatric surgical and treatment equipment at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Health System and CHRISTUS Lake Area Hospital, as well as provide support for several school-based initiatives in our community, including expanding Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) donations to include all five parishes served and helping to fund GoNoodle (an on-line, in-classroom tool that has students moving and grooving and getting better grades) in Calcasieu and Jeff Davis parishes.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter, and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit