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Lake Wylie Children’s Charity adds challenges to raise money

Plates full of whipped cream. Envelopes with $1 bills. Volunteers with Lake Wylie Children’s Charity are creating more ways to raise money to help a local child battling a life-threatening illness.

More than two dozen volunteers gathered Aug. 26 at T-Bones on the Lake to plan for the annual Sept. 28 free benefit concert that includes a silent auction, children’s activities, bake sale and concessions. The all-day event held at the T-bones boat docks area brings hundreds of people to Lake Wylie.

Last year, more than $50,000 was raised to help 3-year-old Emma Rose-Poplin, diagnosed with leukemia. Since the benefit concert’s inception 12 years ago, close to $400,000 has been raised, according to This year’s beneficiary is Morgan Williams, 16, of Charlotte who is battling Crohn’s disease, which can lead to life-threatening complications.

Charity board member Haven Presley said Williams, who has already undergone 16 surgeries, is the oldest child the group has ever chosen. It’s the first time the group chose a child through Hemby Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, she said.

“Her goal is to be able to be healthy and come to the benefit,” said Presley of T-Bones on the Lake.

To raise money before the main event, the group holds a spring golf tournament, The Captain Clueless Race for the Cup, LWCC 5K Fun Run and the LWCC Charity Ride poker run. So far, the golf and race for the cup have raised $15,000.

Now, the charity is throwing pies into the mix.

Volunteer Amanda Smith came up with the Pay to Pie Challenge, modeled after the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Participants can opt for plates full of whipped cream to the face and donate. In three days, the challenge raised $1,500.

“It’s funny and it’s profitable,” Presley said.

If someone donates $100 and takes a pie to the face, they can challenge four others. If someone opts to donate and not take a pie, they can’t call out others. Of course, it’s to be videotaped on posted to Facebook. The charity site has several challengers posted at

“We’re also letting the highest bidder be the one to pie,” Presley said.

Smith said, so far, “a lot of people are opting to pay $100, which is actually better.”

Volunteer Chasity Watson, who is in charge of the silent auction, took on the challenge along with Jennifer Joye.

“It’s taken off and becoming a life of its own,” Watson said.

She challenged friends in Myrtle Beach.

“We don’t know how far it could go,” she said.

Another challenge was inspired by volunteer Mikey Cooke when he posted a stamp and a $1 bill on Facebook, asking “What if everyone mailed one dollar?”

Presley held out a stack of mail with $1 bills coming from as far as California.

“He calls it the Pay It Forward Challenge,” she said.

To donate silent auction items, email