Raising of the Water

Fundraising celebration features cruise, dinner, blessing of waters

Boats help celebrate the Raising of the Water last year witha cocktail cruise before the festivities at the Fort Loudon Yacht Club. This year’s event is Saturday, April 24.

Boats help celebrate the Raising of the Water last year witha cocktail cruise before the festivities at the Fort Loudon Yacht Club. This year’s event is Saturday, April 24.

Mike Johnson, left, and Bob Prince check out a Kayak and accessories donated to the Fort Loudoun Lake Association’s Annual Raising of the Water Celebration auction in a previous year. This year’s event is Saturday, April 24.

Mike Johnson, left, and Bob Prince check out a Kayak and accessories donated to the Fort Loudoun Lake Association’s Annual Raising of the Water Celebration auction in a previous year. This year’s event is Saturday, April 24.

Jan and Roger Kiger relax on the Rooster Deck of the Fort Loudoun Yacht Club.

Jan and Roger Kiger relax on the Rooster Deck of the Fort Loudoun Yacht Club.

Boarding Lady Jane for a fun afternoon during the 2009 Raising of the Water Celebration are, from left, Mike Barbrow, Tammie Hopper, Jane Barbrow and Josie Thompson.

Boarding Lady Jane for a fun afternoon during the 2009 Raising of the Water Celebration are, from left, Mike Barbrow, Tammie Hopper, Jane Barbrow and Josie Thompson.

The water on Fort Loudoun Lake is rising, so the party is starting.

The Fort Loudoun Lake Association’s Annual Raising of the Water Celebration will feature a two-hour cocktail cruise on the lake, a Cherokee blessing of the waters, live music and dancing, a catered dinner and live and silent auctions at the association’s signature event on Saturday, April 24.

The third-annual event, which celebrates the raising of the water in the lake by TVA to full summer levels, will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. on April 24 at the Fort Loudoun Yacht Club to benefit the work of the Fort Loudoun Lake Association.

Ed Campbell, vice president of the Fort Loudoun Lake Association board of directors, said the event celebrates the efforts of the association for the whole year. “It’s also a fundraising effort and a way to get people involved and remind them of what’s going on. We usually have three or four large boats that will split up and take members for a two- to three-hour cruise. They’ll have hors d’oeuvres and cruise the lake. It is a good time to do that - it’s a social event, a fundraising event and an awareness event,” he said. “It is also a way to try to recruit new members.”

Bob Prince lives in Jackson Bend in Louisville and is a past chairman and current member of the board of directors for the Fort Loudoun Lake Association.

Prince, said the event continues into the evening at the yacht club.

“We have a cocktail party with silent and live auction and dancing,” he said.

Penny Mitchell, executive director, said there’s plenty of good food. “The live and silent auction is followed by dinner that is catered at the yacht club and that is followed by entertainment,” she said. “This is our the third year. It is our largest fundraising event of the year, and basically we try to bring in $25,000.”

Prince said the event is for a good cause, taking care of the lake and the watershed that feeds into the lake. “The lake is vital to our community, and this is the one organization dedicated to cleaning it up, checking storm water, improving the quality of the lake and maintaining it as a recreational and economic engine for the community,” Prince said.

While the event will be a time to be festive, Campbell said is all for a very worthy cause. “There is one thing people don’t know - we spend a lot of time checking water quality of the tributaries into the lake. We check species and kinds of fish living in there so you can tell the progress or degradation of the stream,” she said. “We also trap trash with booms to keep it from going into lake. We do an awful lot.”

Campbell said the lake association is doing things all year around. “They’ve got all kinds of projects they’re doing and events similar to this, only smaller,” he said. “This raises awareness of what they do on the lake and the importance of the lake.”

Campbell said people who use the lake or live on the lake should care about what the Fort Loudoun Lake Association is doing. “They’re cleaning up the lake and picking up hundreds of bags of trash and logs and trees out of lake that would normally damage the hulls or props of boats,” he said. “Keeping the lake clean is in the best interest of those who enjoy the lake. A little donated money in our direction might save a boat owner from having to buy a new prop.”

Campbell said people who live on lake have similar issues. “I have property on the lake, and it is costly to me when trees and debris hang up on my property on the lake and I have to clean it up,” he said. “They save me lot of time and effort, and they enhance the visual quality of the lake. I feel good about supporting them both as a property owner and as a boater.”

Tickets are $100 per person. Mitchell said check in for the Saturday, April 24, event is 3 p.m. at the Fort Loudoun Yacht Club, located at 2325 Lakefront Drive in Knoxville, TN 37922.

The Fort Loudoun Lake Association is located at 956 Volunteer Landing Lane, Knoxville, TN 37915. They can be reached at 865-523-3800 or via email at www.fllake.org.

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