The Bay of Plenty Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Team, or 'Boobops', are one step closer to competing at an international festival in Florida in October, after a successful fundraising event last night.

Hosted by Wendy's Boutique, the night was put together by the kind hearts and generosity of local people and businesses.

Twenty models volunteered their time, with their hairstyling and makeup donated, goodie bags on everyones seats and a performance from local soprano Anna Hawkins.

Plus bubbles, nibbles and a good night out for about 100 women.


Themed Winter Wonderland, the fashion parade showcased the latest Wendy's Boutique winter season trends.

From the outside, the night was a fundraising fashion show like any other, but for those who attended it was a celebration of women and a chance to raise awareness about the realities of breast cancer.


Dragon boater of nearly 11-years and breast cancer survivor Judy Pruden spoke on behalf of the team and shared their story.

The link between dragon boating and breast cancer was started by a Canadian doctor who wanted to prove it was good for breast cancer survivors to use their arms for strenuous exercise.

After a successful trial, dragon boating took off around the globe as a way for breast cancer survivors to get together and have fun.

"Looking around me at these ladies in pink, the biggest thing I have got out of dragon boating is friends," she said.

"We have so much fun but we also support eachother... We are so much more than a dragon boat team."

The team, coached by Matt Cuthbert whose wife Lynette works at Wendy's Boutique, had just finished another successful season, picking up six gold medals and one silver over six weeks.

Mr Cuthbert had been volunteering his time to coach the team since 2008 and said he was proud of their achievements and hard work.

Wendy's Boutique owner Wendy Simister said she was happy to have the chance to give back to the community.

"I'm thrilled to do this for the Tauranga Boobop ladies. Breast cancer affects so many women, and what they do, it's very inspirational for a lot of women out there."

We are the Boobops from the BayWe have come to share your dayNo boobs, one boob, all in tactAll shapes and sizes as a matter of factWe're here today to prove to youThere's life after cancer and we have fun tooWin or lose, there's no defeatWe're Boobop babes and life is sweet