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Cornelius News

Good news: Big Day at the Lake exceeds $100K goal, even before fundraisers

Big Day At The Lake 2021 / Photo by Brock Williams-Smith

Feb. 18. By Dave Vieser. Big Day at the Lake is at 106 percent of its $100,000 fundraising goal for 2022. As of Feb. 16, $105,850 has been raised and program organizers believe upcoming special events should take the total beyond $115,000.

After being canceled in 2020 and streamlined 2021 due to the pandemic, Big Day at the Lake is back this summer complete with the traditional picnic at the Duke Energy Explorium.

“We set a $100,000 goal for fundraising in our third COVID year and the community really stepped up for at-risk kids. You might say they blew the doors off,” said founder Dave Yochum. “We plan two or three events such as restaurant nights and a party at a local brewery. I’m beyond grateful for the support for the kids in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas.”

Generous sponsors

Presenting Sponsors include Atrium Health, Ericka and Bill Cain, Champion Tire & Wheel, Freedom Boat Club and South Creek Construction.

Three simple goals:

—Full day of fun

—Recruit Bigs for BBBS

—Raise money for BBBS

Admiral sponsors include ACN, Cashion’s, Carolyn and Jim Duke, Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Bridget and Don Rainey and the Short Family Foundation. (Sponsors are published monthly in print editions of Cornelius Today/Business Today.)


Big Day at the Lake brings people together who wouldn’t otherwise come together for a full day of fun on Lake Norman starting with swimming, tubing and fishing followed by a picnic for hundreds of participants at the Explorium.

“Most of the kids have never had the opportunity to enjoy Lake Norman except for Big Day at the Lake so this means a lot to them,” Yochum added.

It also means a lot to Charlotte as a whole because, according to a 2014 study, we rank 50th out of 50 cities in terms of upward mobility for those born in the lowest demographics.

—According to a Brookings Institution study, “How We Rise,” social networks provide access to support, information and resources for young people on their way up. They’re lacking, and stay lacking, for those born in difficult circumstances.

“Big Day at the Lake brings people together from all walks of life,” Yochum said.

Boat Hosts

All of the children come with a built-in chaperone—their Big Sister or Big Brother—who is fully vetted by the mentoring agency.

Boat Hosts, volunteers and sponsors are welcome. For more info, go to www.bigdayatthelake.com.

Big Day at the Lake has been supported by Cornelius Today and Business Today for 18 years.