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Cornelius News

Big Day at the Lake on July 24 needs Boat Hosts

June 23. The 16th annual “Big Day at the Lake” event for at-risk kids in Big Brothers Big Sisters will be held Saturday, July 24 on Lake Norman.  The day is filled with fun activities on the lake thanks to Boat Hosts.

Not held last year due to the pandemic—2020 would have been Year 16—nearly 150 children and close to 100 Boat Hosts participated.

Sign up

To sign up, visit www.bigdayatthelake.com

The concept is simple.  Most of the BBBS children have never had the opportunity to go to Lake Norman to boat, swim or fish.

Through Big Day at the Lake, Lake Norman families serve as “Boat Hosts” and take the “Bigs” and “Littles” out for a morning of Lake activities.  You choose how many; one match consists of one Big and one Little.

Photo by Deborah Young

All of the children come with a built-in chaperone, their Big Sister or Big Brother, who are fully vetted by Big Brothers Big Sisters.

No picnic

This year there is no picnic at the Energy Explorium, which remains closed due to the pandemic, at McGuire Nuclear Station.


“Seventeen years ago, I could never have imagined that the simple idea of sharing Lake Norman with at-risk kids would turn into what we have today. I wanted the kids to have the opportunity to experience something they may not otherwise be able to enjoy,” said Dave Yochum, founder of Big Day at the Lake.

Nearly $2 million raised

The event has resonated with individuals and corporations over the years, with more than $1.75 million in sponsorships and donations being sent to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas.

Big Day at the Lake has virtually no overhead, thanks to individual Boat Hosts, and in-kind donations ranging from printing to hot dogs. This year is a less ambitious undertaking due to the closure of the Energy Explorium.

$90,000+ this year

That said, more than $90,000 in donations have been received or pledged this year, all of it going straight to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“The generosity from our community is unbelievable, both in terms of Boat Hosts sharing the lake experience and sponsors as well as donors,” Yochum said.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas was founded in 1972, with the belief that inherent in every child is the potential to succeed and thrive in life.  BBBS is a volunteer-based program that matches children with volunteers for a one-on-one relationship that provides friendship, guidance and educational tutoring.

Big Day at the Lake is about sharing the lake experience with children who do not have the same opportunities as well as bringing people together who otherwise would not come together.