LAKE WYLIE — Even veterans of the fourth annual Captain Clueless Race for the Cup on Lake Wylie say it’s hard to describe to someone who hasn’t been there to see it.
The Aug. 4 race is one of four main fundraisers this year for Lake Wylie Children’s Charity, a group raising money for a local family with a child facing cancer.
Chris Sheppard, twice a competitor and winner last year as part of “Sheppy & the Jets,” describes Captain Clueless as a cross between the “Amazing Race” television show and a scavenger hunt mixed with “stupid human tricks.”
“It’s easy to do. The main thing is just having fun with your team,” he said.
Teams of four follow clues to lakefront properties, where they complete tasks before moving to the next challenge. The “goofy event” gives lake residents an opportunity to participate by lending their homes and yards, and gives boaters something different to do from the traditional golf tournament, poker run or similar fundraisers.
“Even for people who don’t know the lake that well, the clues are good enough to where if you pay attention, you’ll be able to find where you’re going,” said Jennifer Joye, another member of last year’s winning team and Children’s Charity volunteer.
Along with Captain Clueless, the group holds a golf tournament and poker run annually in support of the main fall event, an outdoors benefit concert at Buster Boyd Access Area and T-Bones on the Lake. The events will be run for the first time this year through Lake Wylie Children’s Charity, an offshoot of founding organization Justin Mychals Child Cancer Foundation. The fall concert celebrates its tenth year with a Sept. 23 event.
When the concert began, people weren’t sure what to make of it. But in time they began asking about the next one and, eventually, marking their calendars by the end of one event for the next, Joye said. In its decade at Lake Wylie, fundraising has exceeded $300,000.
“It’s growing in that very way,” she said.
Haven Presley, a volunteer organizer throughout the 10 years, said the transition to a new name and new focus is going well heading into the final months of preparation for the fall concert. There’s a new board, new volunteers, new donors. What isn’t new is the cause.
This year the recipient family is that of Luke Moore, a Lake Wylie boy with acute lymphocytic leukemia. The charitable group is working on its nonprofit status and is partnering with New River Community Church this year to accept donations.
Captain Clueless costs $200 per boat. Included is a party the night before at the captains’ meeting and a party after the event.
“I’d pay more than that to have that much fun,” Sheppard said.
For more information about the Captain Clueless event or Lake Wylie Children’s Charity, visit lkwchildrenscharity.org.