This coming October, David Wilkes, a resident of Belmont, is organizing a kayak race with the intent to support two charitable organizations: the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford and Gold Star Teen Adventures. Having recently relocated to Gaston County from Fayetteville, Wilkes, a freemason, was introduced to Gold Star Teen Adventures during his time near Fort Bragg. This organization assists children of military personnel who tragically lost their lives in service.
Wilkes emphasized the core values of Masonry, stating, “The three primary virtues of Masons are faith, hope, and charity.” He further explained that while Masonic lodges across different regions might have varying charitable focuses, their lodge is dedicated to supporting widows and orphaned children. Both the aforementioned organizations align seamlessly with this mission.
The Masonic Home for Children in Oxford provides a haven for children unable to live with their families. Typically, Freemasons organize barbeque sales or raffles to gather funds for charitable causes. However, after a visit to downtown Cramerton, Wilkes was inspired to host a kayak race as a unique fundraising event.
The “Crafting for Kids” kayak race is scheduled for Friday, October 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Open to individuals aged five and above, the race invites all water sports enthusiasts to join. The event will kick off at the boat launch situated behind the Cramerton Fire Department on 8th Avenue. Participants will paddle two miles upstream to the McAdenville Dam before making their return. The first to cross the starting line upon return will be declared the winner. Based on age and expertise (either as an elite or recreational paddler), participants will be grouped, with winners from each category receiving prizes.
Entry fees are set at $30 for individual kayaks and $40 for tandem kayaks. While participants are encouraged to bring their own kayaks, arrangements are being made with Confluence for potential rentals. Those keen on participating can register at www.paddlesignup.com and search for the Cramerton race.