15th Annual Big Day at The Lake Offers Mentors and their Littles a Fun Day on Lake Norman


The 15th annual “Big Day at the Lake” event for the children in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas program will be held Saturday, July 20 on Lake Norman.  The day is filled with a morning of fun activities on the lake culminating with a picnic in the afternoon featuring food, music, games and other traditional picnic activities. Virtually every aspect of this daylong event is cost-free to the organization and its participants.  In addition, the NC Legislature and the Town of Cornelius, have proclaimed Saturday, July 20th as Big Day at the Lake Day!

This event is made possible through a large number of corporate sponsors, individual donors and volunteers.  This year’s presenting sponsors include Atrium Health, Champion Tire & Wheel, Ckezepis Law, and Wells Fargo.  Nearly 150 children and close to 100 boat hosts are signed up to participate in the event.

The concept is simple.  Most of the children have never had the opportunity to go to Lake Norman to boat, swim or fish.  Through Big Day, Lake Norman families serve as “Boat Hosts” and take the “Bigs and Littles” out for a morning of Lake activities.  Following these individual experiences aboard the boats, all the mentors, children and Boat Host families gather at Duke’s Energy Explorium for a celebration cookout.  They are treated to great food, music, water slides, inflatable amusement equipment, ice cream, and a host of other fun picnic activities.

The event is now in its 15th year, and has experienced tremendous growth each year.  More than 100 “Big and Little matches” attend the event and more than 500 people attend the Big Day picnic.

Event founder, Dave Yochum, says, “15 years ago, I could never have imagined that the simple idea of sharing Lake Norman with ‘kids at risk’ 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. Each year the event gains more momentum and the outpouring of generosity is more than we could have ever imagined.  Dozens of sponsors, region-wide, are providing monetary and in-kind donations.  Well over a hundred volunteers from area businesses and other organizations provide fundraising and volunteer help not only on event day but throughout the entire year.  Our fundraising goal for this year was $150,000 and we were able to surpass it!  The generosity from our community is unyielding.”

Big Day at the Lake has raised nearly $2 million in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas over the past 15 years!

Donna Dunlop, CEO Big Brothers Big Sisters, says, “Big Day at The Lake is one of the most fun-filled days of the year for kids in our program.  It also exemplifies the support we receive from the Lake Norman community. Each child and mentor is met with a warm welcome to Lake Norman and an opportunity to be on a boat or to go swimming (some for the very first time). Experiences like this help build confidence and improve self-esteem in children. We are grateful to the Big Day at the Lake organization and the greater Lake Norman community for supporting our kids. It is caring people like this that can truly make a difference in their lives.”

For more information, visit the event website, www.bigdayatthelake.com