Last year, Dave Fuller came up with a way to raise funds for the Denver Lake Norman Rotary Club’s charitable foundation.
Having seen thousands of dollars raised using all varieties of rides and poker runs, Fuller thought of a charity ride that would be particular to Lake Norman.
So was born the DAM2DAM Jet Ski Charity Ride, a nearly 60-mile ride from one end of the lake to the other on personal watercraft (PWC, commonly called “Jet Skis”), which will be held Aug. 24 for the second time.
“And I don’t even have a Jet Ski,” said Fuller, chairman of the event with fellow Denver resident Tim Holder. “Tim gave me one of his to use last year, but I’m going to stay on shore getting everything set up.”
The charity ride will begin at Beatty’s Ford Park, just off Unity Church Road in Denver, where the participants will stage from, at 8 a.m. after a catered breakfast from Bojangles.
The riders will head south to Cowan’s Ford Dam on the southern end of the lake, then turn north for the longest part of the ride – traveling the entire length of Lake Norman and part of the way up the Catawba River to Lookout Shoals Dam, a distance of nearly 30 miles.
The DAM2DAM Jet Ski Charity Ride concludes with a run south from Lookout Shoals Dam to a small island off the southern tip of Governors Island, where participants will have a catered lunch provided by Village Inn Pizza.
Proceeds from the charity ride will be split between the Denver Lake Norman Rotary Foundation and the club’s efforts to build the East Lincoln Rescue Park, which is expected to break ground this year after nearly four years of planning and fundraising.
“We’ve been trying to find different ways to raise money for that park,” Holder said. “This just seemed to be a great opportunity to do something fun and different.
“Plus, you’ve got a lot of people who only know parts of the lake. We’re providing an opportunity for those folks to go beyond what they know, to take them safely from end to end, and change their experience.”
Last year’s DAM2DAM ride had nearly 50 participants, and raised $3,000 for the local Rotary Foundation and the East Lincoln Rescue Park project, which will eventually cover a 31-acre site on Galway Lane near Lincoln Charter School.
Once the park is completed, Fuller said, it will have two multi-purpose fields for soccer and other sports, a multi-purpose shelter, picnic shelters, walking trails, a nine-hole disc golf course, a dog park and an amphitheater.
The site will also have the room needed to hold the Rotary Club’s annual Denver Days Festival, currently held on a leased lot at the corner of N.C. 16 and Saint James Church Road.
According to Holder, this year’s ride will have its first main sponsor, Cornelius-based Lake Norman Power Sports. He and Fuller also expect participation from riders to increase as word gets out.
“We learned a lot from doing last year’s ride, and got some real good feedback from the participants,” Fuller said. “A lot of them plan on coming back for this year’s ride, and we’re hoping that they bring a friend or two along with them.”
Kiser: 704-892-3662; Twitter: @BKiser_CLTObs
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