Boat-a-thon raises money for rural fire departments

Posted by: Abigail Wood

It was a beautiful day to be at Branched Oak Lake Saturday. Lori Pickette’s boat, Good Medicine, coasted alongside fellow yacht club members as a part of their annual Boat-a-thon.

"Some people golf—I sail," Pickette said. "It’s extremely relaxing."

The club is raising money to support the two rural fire departments that respond to lake emergencies, Malcolm and Raymond.

"We’ve had some accidents out here and they’re always the first responders to get here," said boater Mike McClelland.

Pickette added: "If you’ve ever gone camping or used any lakes in Nebraska you really do need to donate to these two worthy causes, because you never know when you’re going to need the services they provide."

The yacht club started out on the water around 9 AM and they stay until 9 Sunday morning. They raise money through sponsorships, and also have a go-fund-me page where others can donate to the departments.

And it’s a lot of fun, too. They say the yacht club feels like a family.

"We tie up and try to make it so they’re close together and you just step from boat to boat on the back decks," McClelland said.

They’ve been doing this since 2009, and raised about $25,000 in that time. This year, their goal is $5,000. If you’re interested in helping out, here’s a link to the GoFundMe page.