Latest News

Dakota’s Spectacular Day lets Kidz be kids

About 30 volunteers huddled Thursday in grass skirts and coconut bikini tops – mostly the men among them – praying the heavens wouldn’t open and wash out their afternoon. And the rain didn’t come.

“We’ve got a lot of really great angels on our side,” said Lannette Conder, who for the eighth straight year organized Dakota’s Spectacular Day on the Lake to honor her late son.

Ted and Lannette Conder host campers and counselors each summer from Courageous Kidz, a support group in Charleston for children with cancer. Children swim and boat on Lake Wylie, play games and fire water balloons for a day before heading to Carowinds. The lakefront event honors Dakota Gay, who died from brain cancer in 2007 at age 15. Gay participated with Courageous Kidz.

On Thursday, 104 people arrived at the Conder home on Summerside Drive. Dakota’s Spectacular Day has become a highlight on the group’s calendar, said leader Deborah Stephenson.

“They just can’t wait for this day every year, she said.

For more on the group, visit