SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. (WFXR) — Even during a global pandemic that restricted travel and public gatherings in 2020, Bridgewater Marina & Boat Rentals donated nearly $20,000 to Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia through its fundraising campaign, “Feed the Fish for Make-A-Wish.”
“Make-A-Wish is an organization that’s near and dear to my family,” said Ryan Waters, Bridgewater Marina partner. “It fills us with such joy to see the Smith Mountain Lake community support this fundraiser so generously each year.”
Waters says this was the fourth year for the initiative, which has generated more than $97,000 for the Richmond-based non-profit. Last year’s exact amount donated was $19,978.
The mission of the “Feed the Fish for Make-A-Wish” is to turn a decades-long tradition at Smith Mountain Lake, which includes kids feeding popcorn to the massive carp that gather around the marina’s docs, into a way to contribute a charity that serves children. The marina donates 100-percent of its popcorn sales to the organization.
Caroline Browell, Director of Marketing and Communications for Make-A-Wish says the average wish costs $10,000, so Bridgewater Marina’s donation equates to approximately two wishes being granted to children who face critical illness.
Organizers say they hope the program raises $30,000 in 2021.