Paddlers from Paradise compete

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AMI Paddlers from Paradise practice Nov. 12 in Holmes Beach. Islander Courtesy Photos
AMI Paddlers from Paradise gather Nov. 9 after competing in the Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival in Hernando.

The AMI Paddlers from Paradise, the dragon boat team based on Anna Maria Island, competed Nov. 9 at the Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival in Hernando.

The festival is the largest dragon boat race in the Southeastern United States.

The island group’s senior women’s team finished second and won a silver medal.

The island group’s senior mixed team made the final bracket and finished fifth overall.

The AMI Paddlers for Paradise includes Evelyn Silverthorn, Denise Gardner, Mileah Hudgins, Judy Gidus, Brenda Rose, Bonnie Jo Hakala, Sandy Bouwer, Gail Trombley, Lori Stuckey, Diane Goolsby, Gail McCall, Andre Essington, John Stuckey, Marty Hurbi, Tom Cornell, Marion May, Stacey Hiles-Janik and Jill St. John. Melinda Bradway is the head coach and Rick Granite is their steerperson.

AMI Paddlers from Paradise will be hosting a competition next spring, as the Anna Maria Island Dragon Boat Festival takes place March 7, 2020.

The festival will benefit the Food Bank of Manatee by having participants bring two nonperishable items or money to donate at the festival.

Organizers also want to stage a zero-net plastic event, where paddlers bring reusable containers and no disposable plastic bottles or containers.

Community groups or businesses interested in sponsorships can contact Melinda Bradway at 941-462-2626.