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 on Saturday night.

Hosted by Wendy's Boutique, the night was put together by a group of Bay people and businesses.

Twenty models volunteered their time, and hairstyling and makeup was donated.

There were goodie bags for everyone 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.

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 began after a Canadian doctor said it was good for breast cancer survivors to use their arms in strenuous exercise.

After a successful trial, dragon boating took off worldwide 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 each other."

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.