LAKE TEXOMA, TX - This year will mark 22 years of organized sailboat racing on Lake Texoma, all in the name of charity. The Texoma Lakefest Regatta is just two weeks away. Mystic Matthews tells us why this year's event will be a little different.
This year, instead of one regatta, there will be two events. Organizers say it's not only a great way to promote a new and improved lake Texoma, it's a way to help kids across Texoma and nationwide.
After spending nearly a year recovering from last June's devastating flooding, many boaters and businesses say they're ready to start fresh this summer.
Jason Cottingame with Grandpappy Point Marina says, "Lakefest Regatta is the event that kicks our season off. It’s the earliest event of the year and following this we just build on this event."
Regatta Director Tim Wylie says this year the proceeds will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a nationwide organization dedicated to finding a cure. “We love to sail, we love to race and we love to help people. And this is an event that's always raised money. We’ve been doing it for 22 years and we’re trying to keep it going strong."
More than 35 sailors helped raised $52,000 dollars for charity at last year’s event and Wylie hopes to raise at least that much again this year. Participants will have seven races and three days to do it.
Lakefest Regatta will take place April 18-20th, but it's not only for those with sea legs. Wylie says, “Elvis tribute artists are going to come out and play with us. He's got his whole orchestra and backup singers and its going to be a fun event."
In the past, the Texoma Sailing Club has partnered with the Denison Chamber, but Chamber President Anna McKinney says this year they'll sponsor their own fundraiser.
“We're separating this out and it’s positive because now we have two weekends of events for Denison and that's something we're always trying to do is have something going on all the time. We are excited about the chance to raise money for the kids,” says McKinney.
April 26th will be the Chamber's Cruising for Kids Day, to benefit the special needs children of Grayson County. Only sponsors can cruise for kids, but everyone can get their feet wet at the Lakefest Regatta.
“The regatta is open to public. Anybody with a sail boat can come out and race with us. The entry fee is $125.00," says Wylie. All of which goes to charity, while promoting one of Texoma's biggest attractions.
Wylie says, “We're trying to bring sailors to Lake Texoma and see what we've got here because we think we've got a great thing.”
For more information on Lakefest Regatta 2008, contact the Texoma Sailing Club.
For details on Cruising for Kids, contact the Denison Chamber.