BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Thousands turned out for the annual Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival this past weekend to help raise money for wellness programs for cancer survivors across Vermont.

More than 60 teams signed up for Sunday's races in Burlington. Each group of paddlers competed in a 200-meter sprint on the lakefront.

The event, sponsored by Dragonheart Vermont and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, has brought in $1.65 million for cancer-related programs in its 11 years. Organizers hoped to raise about $200,000 at this year's race.

Linda Dyer, Dragonheart's executive director, says the proceeds from last year's event helped fund 55 free wellness classes for cancer survivors each month.

Blue Cross officials say more than 10 percent of the health insurance company's workers in Vermont participate in the festival.

[STORY BY: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]