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Cornelius News

Big Day at the Lake XII off to a big start. Beach Bash is April 14 at Port City Club


The 12th year of Big Day at the Lake got under way in early February with a kickoff party that included remarks from Sen. Jeff Tarte, Cornelius Commissioner Jim Duke and a “Big” and a “Little” who shared the positive impact their mentoring experience had on their lives.

Big Day at the Lake is at $51,275, well on the way toward its goal of an $80,000 cash contribution to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte. The group, which consists entirely of volunteers in and around Lake Norman, has two other goals: Recruits “Bigs” or mentors for at-risk children in BBBS, and provide an unforgettable day of fun on the lake for children who would not otherwise experience Lake Norman or Mountain Island Lake.

This year there are two presenting sponsors: PayPal, the worldwide online payments system, and Champion Tire & Wheel, a Cornelius-based company that provides logistics services for motorsports teams.

“We have always subscribed to the idea that every kid deserves a chance.  Big Brothers Big Sisters with the help of Big Day at the Lake lay some foundation for kids to gain a brand new perspective on the world.  Who knows where that might take them.   After hearing some of the stories, it seems like Big Day at the Lake provides a lot of perspective to more than just the kids as well,” said Kevin Mahl, co-owner of Champion Tire.

Big Day at the Lake this year is July 23. More than 200 at-risk children were hosted by more than 175 Boat Hosts last year, the 11th straight year that Duke Energy has hosted a picnic for upwards of 600 participants.

RELATED: Become Big Day at the Lake boat host for 2016

Big Day at the Lake’s fundraising team is co-chaired by Della Stafford, Tracey Stehle and Gail Williams.

This year’s fund-raising goal is $80,000. Thanks to businesses and individuals, Big Day at the Lake is responsible for raising well over $750,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters during the past 10 years. Big Brothers Big Sisters serves some 250 children in North Mecklenburg.

In-kind contributions, ranging from restaurants to printing, courtesy of AlphaGraphics, has kept Big Day at the Lake overhead at virtually zero for more than a decade.

For many of the children in Big Brothers Big Sisters, Big Day at the Lake is the highlight of their year.

“Big Day at the Lake has been one of the most successful events in the history of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Big Day at the Lake committee, the many volunteers and boat hosts who help, and the financial and in-kind sponsors who so generously support this initiative,” said Doug Hartjes, vice president of development for BBBS.

The next fundraising event, co-chaired by Liz Marlow and Shelia Brumlow, is the Beach Bash on April 14 at Port City Club from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you would like to donate an item for the silent auction at this event, please call Liz at 704-560-5520.

Big Day at the Lake updates can also be found online: Facebook at Big Day at the Lake or at www.bigdayatthelake.com.