Bridgewater Marina has topped the $100,000 mark in donations to Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia and will celebrate with a community event on June 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“What started as a modest fundraiser five years ago has become a true success story thanks to the Smith Mountain Lake community,” said Ryan Waters, Bridgewater Marina partner. “And the absolute best part is the number of children in Virginia with critical illnesses who have been touched by their amazing support. We wanted to express our thanks by planning something fun for families.”
The event will take place outside Bridgewater Marina and will include free popcorn, soda and water, as well as door prizes and a photo booth courtesy of Unique Memories & Gifts.
“This is the first time we’ve done this so we’re still working out the details, but everyone we’ve approached so far has been super enthusiastic about it,” said Waters, noting that updates will be posted at facebook.com/bwmarina.
Representatives of Richmond-based Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia will be on hand to mark the occasion.
“We wouldn’t miss it,” said Paige Bullen, the organization’s director of development. “This is an amazing accomplishment and we’re thrilled to be able to recognize Bridgewater Marina and thank some of the residents and tourists who have made this truly unique fundraiser such a success.”
The marina started “Feed the Fish for Make-A-Wish” in 2017. The program’s objective was to turn a decades-long Smith Mountain Lake tradition – kids feeding popcorn to the massive carp that gather around the docks at Bridgewater Plaza – into a way to contribute to a charity that serves children.
Bullen said the average wish costs $10,000 so Bridgewater Marina’s donation equates to approximately 10 wishes for children in Virginia facing critical illnesses. Examples include meeting celebrities, working a dream job and visiting a desired destination such as Chicago or New York.
“Make-A-Wish is an organization that’s near and dear to my heart, and I can’t thank everyone enough who has purchased popcorn over the years and helped make this accomplishment possible,” Waters said, noting that Bridgewater Marina will continue the program this year with a goal of raising $25,000.
For more information, contact Waters at (540) 721-1639 or Paige Bullen at (804) 217-9474, ext. 1278.
About Bridgewater Marina & Boat Rentals:
Bridgewater Marina has served the Smith Mountain Lake region since 1989. Headquartered at Bridgewater Plaza, the company offers rentals of pontoons, tritoons, ski boats, wakeboard boats, deck boats, personal watercraft, kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, water toys and more from sis convenient locations. In addition to sales of used fleet vessels, Bridgewater Marina sells dockside gas and is a full-service retail store offering convenience items, water sports equipment, life jackets, apparel and SML souvenirs.