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Lake Wylie Children’s Charity teaming with ways to help

As organizers look for creative ways to raise money for 16-year-old Morgan Williams, they’re not losing sight of the tried-and-true ways they’ve gone about it in the past.

The group that is now Lake Wylie Children’s Charity began more than a decade ago with one event – a fall concert to benefit Dakota Gay, a Lake Wylie boy battling cancer.

The fall concert remains the biggest in a series of events intended to help a child each year. Williams will be the recipient of this year’s fundraising efforts.

This year’s concert will be noon-7 p.m. Sept. 28 at T-Bones on the Lake, in the grassy area overlooking the main channel of Lake Wylie. The lineup features bands Bobby Ray Bittle, Early Ray, Stolen Hearts, The SwashTones, Noma Trio featuring Jill Dineen and Fiftywatt Freight Train. It also will feature silent auction, games, concessions and other activities.

In recent years, organizers have added a poker run, which this year will be Oct. 18; the stops haven’t been finalized.

“We are actually having it after the big event this year, which is a first,” said longtime volunteer Jennifer Joye.

Kate Legg is organizing the poker run. This year it will be a night event, she said, patterned after a successful event in the Charleston area.

“This year we’ll be doing it a little bit different, a howl-at-the-moon type thing,” Legg said.

Another recent addition to fundraising activities is the superhero 5K, run by Anytime Fitness. The race usually takes place about a month after the concert. Anytime Fitness is in the process of moving to a new location within the same Anchor Shops Place development, so organizers will delay the 5K a while.

“We have not (set a date), but we are going to push it to the spring,” said Amy Rose, Anytime Fitness general manager.

Rose said the superhero theme is popular. The plan is to continue having races, she said, though she isn’t sure whether the 5K will return next fall or remain in spring each year.

Children’s Charity events already are filling the calendar. In March, there was a golf tournament at River Hills Country Club, and the sixth annual Captain Clueless Race for the Cup was Aug. 2; those two events raised $15,000.

This year also brings the Pay to Pie Challenge, in which participants nominate others to take a whipped-cream pie to the face or pay up; and the Pay it Forward Challenge, in which volunteers challenge Facebook friends to send $1.

“We have gotten money all the way from California,” Joye said. “We also had one local send us a dollar for every family member she had in the area, and her fur babies, too. That one had $35 in it.”

What remains year to year is the commitment volunteers have to help a child in need. This year the volunteers worked with Hemby Children’s Hospital to identify Williams.

“Morgan Williams is the first noncancer patient we have had: she actually has Crohn’s disease,” Joye said. “It is almost always a precursor to cancer, and the poor thing has already had 16 surgeries.”

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