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Cornelius News

Sign up to be a Boat Host for Big Day at the Lake July 23

Lynn Manis, a long-time Boat Host with husband Frank and daughter Erin, says Big Day at the Lake is one of her favorite days of the summer every year.

“My family calls it our ‘Feel Good Day.’ We are lucky to share our day with some very special Bigs and Littles and have built life long friendships. The best part is watching our Littles grow up. Our first Little could not swim and our daughter Erin taught her to swim. It’s simply heartwarming and very special,” Lynn says.

Boat Hosts are still needed to take at-risk children from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte out on Lake Norman and Mountain Island Lake for Big Day at the Lake 12 on July 23.

Each child comes with a built-in chaperone – their mentor from Big Brothers Big Sisters – and a signed waiver.

Hundreds of boat owners are needed; some boat hosts opt for one match, which means one adult and one child, some opt for two or more. All sizes and types of boat are welcome, but not personal watercraft for safety reasons.

To register as a boat host online, click here.

Big Brothers Big Sisters estimates more than 300 youth will participate, along with 300 Bigs, or mentors. Last year 250 children participated.

Boat Hosts meet their Big and Little wherever the boat hosts want: At a boat ramp, a marina, a yacht club or at a private home. The day starts at about 9 am, followed by fun on the lake. There is a picnic – not open to the public – for Bigs and Littles and Boat Hosts and their families at 1 pm.

The picnic is optional, so the time commitment for boat owner is manageable.

NC Sen. Jeff Tarte has been a Boat Host for years as well.

“Life’s greatest pleasures tend to be when we give of ourselves and our time. Most of these kids coming to BDATL have never been on a boat let alone swimming in a lake. One of the most wonderful gifts received from boat hosting is the unadulterated smiles and laughter of the kids getting to enjoy the lake we often take for granted. It is hard to describe the true sense of joy you will get from watching these kids experience the lake, but if you are so moved to share your boat for a Saturday morning, my guess is you will want to do it again and again,” Tarte said.

The presenting sponsors of Big Day at the Lake are Cornelius-based Champion Tire and PayPal, the worldwide online payments company.  For a full list of sponsors, click here.

The Town of Cornelius declared July 23 Big Day at the Lake Day, as well as the State of North Carolina. Mecklenburg County is expected to do the same at their July 6 meeting.

There is more information about sponsors and Big Day at the Lake on Facebook and at www.bigdayatthelake.com