Light the Lake Marks Three Anniversaries for Home

Mike's Garage Band will perform Saturday at Light the Lake. (Submitted)
Mike's Garage Band will perform Saturday at Light the Lake. (Submitted)

The 10th Annual Light the Lake event will bring the largest celebration yet for child abuse awareness to Lake Waccamaw when it opens 1-5 p.m. April 13 on the Boys & Girls Homes Farm. The decade-old event also marks the 25th year of Foster Care and 20th year of Adoption Services at the organization. 2024 also marks BGHNC’s 70th year.

Light the Lake is a free community celebration for all ages and will include five bouncy houses, a performance by Southport’s Mike’s Garage Band from 2-5 p.m., a visit from Bikers Against Child Abuse, games, prizes and food vendors Two Natives Smokehouse, Tied Up With Jesus and Pure Taste. Then at 5 p.m. everyone will carry electric candles and walk down Flemington Drive to Lake Waccamaw for an early evening Lake Walk in commemoration of child abuse awareness. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

BGHNC President and CEO Marc Murphy was the founder of the organization’s foster care program in the late-1990s. Today, BGHNC’s foster care program cares for 108 children and 125 licensed homes in 14 counties in southeastern North Carolina.

“The Foster Care program at BGHNC started the same way the organization originally did, with our alertness to the gaps in services in southeastern North Carolina,” Murphy said. “Interviews with our community partners and area departments of social services, in particular, led us to discover the significant need for licensed foster parents in the region. Fewer local homes meant that children were being removed not only from their homes but their local communities as well, which doubles the loss and trauma for children coming into care due to abuse and neglect. Our homes are changing lives for the better.”

Beyond celebrating the nonprofit’s anniversaries, Light the Lake is a time for foster families and all types of families to gather.

“It is our hope that we have a big turnout of foster parents so that we can honor them and the wonderful job they do all year long,” said Sandy Wynn, BGHNC Licensing Social Worker and one of the event’s organizers. “We want to involve the community to bring awareness to child abuse prevention, remember children who lost their lives to child abuse, and hopefully recruit more families who are willing to open their hearts and their homes to a child in need.”

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

Headquartered in Lake Waccamaw, NC since 1954, Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina has served more than 7,500 children as a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family challenges.

BGHNC offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, Success Coach services to prevent children from coming into foster care, and free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw.

The campus features a SACS-accredited charter school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, equine therapy and a chapel. BGHNC is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.

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