The “Clueless Avengers” and 80-plus other people were super heroes Saturday at Lake Wylie.
The “Avengers,” made up of April Osburn and Brian Menendez, both of Tega Cay, and Carrie Monroe and Mike Katowitz, both of Charlotte, were among 20 four-member teams participating in the fourth annual Captain Clueless Race for the Cup on Lake Wylie. All proceeds go to Lake Wylie Children’s Charity, a nonprofit raising money for a local family with a child facing cancer.
“We haven’t missed one yet,” said Mike Katowitz of himself and teammate Menendez. ‘The camaraderie among teams by this fourth year, although competitive, we’re all friends.”
The teams took off from T-bones on the Lake in staggered starts beginning at 10 a.m. seeking 10 clues that would eventually lead them back to the finish line at T-bones. Similar to television’s “Amazing Race,” in order to get the clues, each team member would have to complete various tasks at lakefront properties before moving on to the next challenge.
“It’s all timed, but they gotta follow the rules of the lake,” said Liz McCamy, one of the event organizers and the creator of the tasks.
Every year, she comes up with new tasks, such as putting a large puzzle together or tossing tubes onto the toilet plunger stuck on a team members head, and finds different places for the stops.
“We haven’t used the same place twice,” she said.
Charles McClure was part of “No Ship Sherlocks.” A resident of Lake Wylie for more than 25 years, this was his first experience racing for the cup.
“I really enjoyed looking for the clues to find each of the 10 check points. The contest had fun and challenging games at each stop,” he said, adding his team had the most difficulty shaping dogs out of balloons. “It is a great event, seeing and meeting new friends brings a great feeling knowing the money raised is supporting families having difficult time.”
This year’s winning team was “The Buzzards,” Jim, Laura, Carl and James Schaefer of Lake Wylie, with a time of 1 hour, 59 minutes and 30 seconds. They beat last year’s winners, “Sheppie and The Jets,” by 30 seconds.
“I don’t think we’ve had anyone do it so fast,” McCamy said.
Event winners get bragging rights and their names on a trophy.
Other heroes Saturday included the many volunteers, who worked before and that day from 9 a.m. to about 3 p.m.
“The first year, I was scrambling for volunteers. But this year, we had so many,” she said, including the lake residents who provide the stops. “But we always need people to volunteer their docks and yard.”
Like others volunteering, one group who volunteered, and also provided a stop on the lake and are event sponsors, say it’s the cause that make the event so worthy.
“We live and work here,” said Rusty Smith of Legacy Building Group. “They work hard for a good cause.”
Smith’s son, Russell III, urged his father, family and friends to join the effort.
“It’s our first year but we’re lifers now,” Smith said.
Some volunteers even travelled a ways to see friends and help.
“I love coming to Lake Wylie and what a nice way to spend a Saturday raising money for a good cause,” said Pat Isbell of Oxford, N.C.
The race raised about $7,000, McCamy said.
Along with Captain Clueless, the group holds a golf tournament, held in March, and poker run, scheduled Sept. 15, in support of the main Sept. 23 event, an outdoors benefit concert at Buster Boyd Access Area and T-Bones on the Lake. The events will be run for the first time this year through Lake Wylie Children’s Charity, an offshoot of founding organization Justin Mychals Child Cancer Foundation.
This year’s Sept. 23 fall concert will help the family of Luke Moore, 3, of Lake Wylie. He has leukemia. The fall fundraiser each year includes a concert, silent auction and more, with proceeds going to a selected family to help offset medical costs. The group also is partnering with New River Community Church, where the Moores are members.
Each year, organizers work with hospitals and social service groups to identify eligible families for the benefit.
For more about Lake Wylie Children’s Charity, visit lkwchildrenscharity.org.