2021 Lake Waccamaw Benefit Ride sets record

May 10, 2021

Participants and sponsors of the Lake Waccamaw Benefit Ride to Support Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina raised more than $14,625 to support the nonprofit organization.

“We are so thankful to welcome this group to our campus,” said Director of Community Engagement Mason Fuller Smith. “This is the first event since COVID where our kids have been able to interact with an outside group. It’s a big deal for them, and you can see their excitement.”

The event began as an American Legion chapter challenge at the suggestion of BGHNC Board Member and Moore County attorney Linda Reid Oldham.

“This thing has been going on for 12 years now and it just keeps getting better,” said Rora Kellis, event co-coordinator and Vass American Legion Rider. The thing is, our group worked hard this year. We did better than we’ve ever done before. We’re tickled with the crowd we brought down. We’re happy for that.”

In addition to American Legion Riders from Vass, Aberdeen and Calabash, this year’s event included riders from Bikers Against Child Abuse. There were also two trucks from Daimler Freightliner designed to acknowledge Prisoners Of War and Missing In Action.

“The trucks added another dimension,” said Smith. “Our kids enjoyed the opportunity to check out the design and the big rigs in addition to judging the bikes for the favorite ride awards.”

Calabash event co-coordinator Sterling Page was pleased with the entire event.

“This has been the biggest year ever,” said Page. “This is the ninth time I’ve done it and we probably doubled the amount of people this year. We didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t put information in the newspaper. We didn’t have T-shirts to bring in extra interest. And we got an overwhelming response. We filled the entire parking area at Beach House Harley Davidson. As we started on our way, I turned and couldn’t see the end of the line.”

The 2021 sponsors for the Calabash American Legion ride included Sterling Page in loving memory of his wife Ellie; Pete and Jody Larkin; Lainies Dog House; Diana and Alan Paynter; Richardson Construction & Marine Contracting; Sunset Dental; Chip and Rose Jones; Eric and Diane Hale; Sons of the American Legion Riders Post 503; American Legion Riders Post 503; John and Amy Tormey; GYPSYGALs Petting Zoo; Town of Calabash; Lee Schreck in loving memory of Jack Schreck; The Sign Shoppe; Smith Heating & Air; Rolling Thunder Chapter S.C. 3; Kenny Nordman; Richard H. Young DMD, Ltd.; American Legion Auxiliary Unit 503; Lee Funeral Home and Crematory; Cape Fear Retinal Associates PC; John and Marvera Manning; Paul and Karen Dunbar; Woody and Drew French; GCCOM Construction Co., Inc.; Edwin Lynn Styers, DDS, PA; Keith A Berry, DMD, PC; Liberty Belle Thrift Boutique; William J. Wellbrock; Mike and Debra Foster; Linda Miller; Peter J. Laboy; Headhunters; and American Legion Post 503.

With that level of support, the Calabash crew won the Chapter Challenge from the Vass crew.

“No matter whether we win or lose, the kids win and that’s what it’s all about,” said Kellis. “We raised more than we ever have, and we are tickled with that, but it looks like we’ll have to do a little better next year.”

BGHNC President/CEO Ricky Creech was impressed by the event and the support provided by the riders.

“If it weren’t for you and groups and individuals like you, your shared passion for what we do, we would not be here,” said Creech to those in attendance. “We’re all about changing lives and building brighter and more hopeful futures for all who enter our doors. We appreciate your support financially, your prayers, and your sharing our story to others. We’re expanding and adding new programs. You’re expanding too, and I hope to see an even bigger crowd the next time you do this.”

About Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 7,500 children have benefitted from the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. BGHNC offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 320 children are cared for through the residential, community-based services, and school program provided by BGHNC at any given time. BGHNC operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. BGHNC is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.