Deeply impacted by her grandparents, Sara Moore is proud of her heritage and the legacy of her grandparents.
Her grandfather, Masamichi Suzuki, was first generation Japanese American during WWII. He met her grandmother, Zoe Green, in Kure, Japan on the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, where she was working as a nurse. They fell in love in Japan and returned to the US to get married.
Being interracial, they were denied a marriage license in the state of Nevada. But that did not stop them and they were able to marry in California.
“Their life story is one for the history books. They overcame many challenges—including denial of purchasing a home due to race—and constantly showed love and compassion for everyone they met,” said Moore.
“Because of them, I do my best to live my life with grace, compassion, curiosity, and love. It is my greatest desire to live a life that they would be proud of.”
Growing up in in Rochester Hills, Michigan, Moore was involved in many sports. From the age of 2 to 18, she was a gymnast along with her siblings: older brother Brandon and older sister Megan. She dove from high school into college at Grand Valley State University, and also played volleyball and softball.
Climbing in Indian Creek, Utah (Indian Creek is the ancestral home of the Pueblo of Zuni and Ute peoples)
In college, she fell in love with the sport of rock climbing and hasn’t looked back since. She continues to climb today—indoors and outdoors.
Moore said: “I love being active and moving my body. I think that was a big reason I moved to Colorado.”
When she moved to Colorado in 2012, she started her nonprofit career, first working for Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in Boulder. She was awarded the Rising Star Award twice by National BSA. Then in 2017, she joined Colorado Dragon Boat as Executive Director.
Dragon Boat Racing
“I was happy to move to a position where the mission and vision resonated more with me,” said Moore. “Moving to a state where I did not see many ethnicities made me look for something to fill that gap. Thats how I found the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival,” she said.
“I cannot explain how important and impactful Colorado Dragon Boat has been to me. It is a dream come true to be able to run an organization whose mission is to celebrate the amazing contributions and accomplishments of the AAPI community.”
“Not only are our three programs— Colorado Dragon Boat Film Festival, Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, and the AAPI Emerging Leaders Program—so meaningful, the people I work with are truly the secret sauce.”
The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is the largest AAPI celebration in the Rocky Mountain region and the largest dragon boat festival in the US, while the Colorado Dragon Boat Film Festival is the only all Asian and Asian American film festival in the state.
Mimi Luong, owner of Truong An Gifts, said: “Sara is a strong role model and always thinks of her community first. Her events bring the community together to share culture, traditions, and more.”
Moore has always loved being involved in her community and volunteering. Growing up, she helped with meals on wheels and other volunteer roles with her mom and siblings.
Moore Family From left: Reagan, Cathy, Brandon, Cole, Dan, Kathy, Megan, John, Sara
“Giving back has been an important trait my parents and grandparents have taught me,” said Moore.
She is currently a board member of the nonprofit Denver Film. She was also honored to be a part of the 2023 US Young Leaders Delegation to Taiwan (Republic of China) and the 2019 Kakehashi Program in Japan.
“In both of these programs, I was able to travel to Taiwan and Japan to expand my knowledge of the country and make connections with other leaders from all over the US. Both of these experiences have been a highlight of my life,” she said.
Moore loves to travel and has a goal to visit a new country every year.