the Lytles took charge.
“I know it may not seem like much,” Charlie Lytle said, “but I don’t want there to be any obstacles like that in the way of anyone in our county to say, ‘I’d like to do Take the Lake.’ Even just a few dollars may stop someone from deciding to take on one of these challenges.
“I wanted to thank and to help the people who have spent so much time in making this event as successful as it is,” Lytle said. “Because, frankly, in all my years I have never seen the community have an event that is so successful, and that is so good for the people here.”
Lytle more than just expressed concern; he visited The News Reporter offices last week to deliver a $1,000 check from the couple. This will help pay the insurance for two years, and he has set out to raise the rest of the money needed.
“You all do so much on the Take the Lake committee that I don’t think raising money for insurance is something you should have to worry about,” Lytle said. “I don’t think you should turn into a volunteer group that has to spend all its time fundraising. I think the community should take care of that.”
The TTL committee has mostly solicited donations from sponsors who can directly benefit from their brand appearing on event banners and other materials, but Lytle won’t see that benefit, and he will approach others who are in the same position.
“I have no motive for doing this, other than it’s a wonderful thing for the community,” Lytle said. “I am honoring the people like Lee Greer, Johnny McNeill, J.B. Lee and his son Junius. For years, people have put in so much time to bring it to this level, I would just hate to see it turn into something with even a $2 fee.”
Lytle said that events like Take the Lake can help Columbus County.
“We are the last county, health-wise, in the state,” Lytle said. “I think eventually, we’ll see a trickle-down effect from Take the Lake, and we’ll have a healthier county. Some people who train for this event will keep on living healthy or cycling or running or whatever.
"And even if they don’t, then for some period in their lives they did do something healthier, and it lets them know that they can, and it builds their confidence in achieving goals and such.
“Outside our county, Take the Lake gives us a lot of publicity – it’s good for businesses here. You can travel around the state and find people who know about Lake Waccamaw because of Take the Lake.”
Lytle emphasized his perspective on keeping Take the Lake a free event, keeping with the decades-old tradition of the Labor Day Swim.
“One of the unique things that you all have accomplished – different from events in Wilmington and everywhere – is that it doesn’t cost anything to enter. All you need to do is register, take the time to train, and show up for the event. Then, not only do you get the satisfaction of doing it, you get a little medal, you get recognition.
“I don’t ever want to hear somebody, when asked; ‘did you do Take the Lake?’ for them to say; ‘no, I didn’t have the money for the fee.’ I know times are hard here in this county, but there are enough people who benefit from this event directly or indirectly, that this $2,000 for insurance should never be a worry. Everybody benefits from Take the Lake indirectly.
“I have no qualms about begging for money for a good cause, and I think this is a good cause, and that’s why I did it,” Lytle said.
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8/6/2012 03:13:03 am
Just wanted to say THANK YOU to Charlie and his wife for doing such of a great thing. This certainly is over the limit and normal expectations. It surely shows their interest and support for this county.
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