This Fall message from the Clark Lake Community Center is by John Karkheck, president.

Well, where did the summer go? It’s like we just looked up to find it gone, and we were hoping it would last longer since it started late.

In spite of that, it was another great summer for the Clark Lake Community Center.  We are blessed with success because of our volunteers and those who contributed to its upkeep by renting this historic house.  Those who had their events here not only enjoyed a beautiful view of Clark Lake but relished some of the lake’s great heritage.  This Clark Lake icon stood watch on Kentucky Point for a century. Through mighty effort, it was saved.  For today and the future, it’s a testament of how a community came together to preserve its past. Clark Lakers still talk about the day it was floated down the lake, how it was towed up Ocean Beach Road to the hill where it now stands, and how it was restored in a way that lends its charm to the lake every day.  What was it like to experience it?  Check out this video to see an amazing day in June at Clark Lake.

The Community Center continues its effort to preserve Clark Lake’s past. Recently, Ann Swain rescued these Raft-O-Rama photos as a neighbor cleaned house.

[Editor’s Note:  can you help identify the rafts in these photos?  Please email what you know to]

The photos will soon become part of the Community Center’s Wall of Fame that will display artifacts and photos of the lake’s past.  The house, and this wall, are truly warm and friendly reminders of how we got to today.  Speaking of Raft-O-Rama, did you know that Raft-O-Rama is coming up on its 60th anniversary?  The theme, naturally, will be the 1960s.

Keeping the Community Center in excellent shape is no small feat.  It requires many volunteer hours and lots of cash each year. You can show your support by attending our Harvest Moon Party on Saturday, October 12 at the Clark Lake Yacht Club.  The theme is a Taste of Poland.  On the menu are golumpki, pierogies, and kapusta.  For dessert, it’s a trip to Hamtramck for pazcki which features blueberry, raspberries and lemon.  (Please see details below). 

At the event, you’ll want to score some great items in the silent and live auctions.  For the live auction, we’re looking for those who will put their vacation home or condo up for bid for a one week stay, this year or next.  Can you help?  

Harvest Moon is limited to 150 tickets. Please contact John Deming (529-9117) or me (745-2929) for yours.

Photo: Rick Belcher

The annual Thin Blue Line fundraiser raiser will be held Saturday, September 28, noon to 4 pm at the Community Center.  This event seeks donations to fund the Columbia Police Department’s “Shop with a Cop Program.”  The officers use these cash donations, instead of their own personal money, to take underprivileged children Christmas shopping.  Thanks to many, we surpassed our goal of $1500 last year.  We hope to exceed this amount again so we can also share funds with the Andy’s Angels Foundation that helps those with opioid addictions.

The Community Center is grateful to the Garden Angels for their magnificent work around the house and North Lake/Ocean Beach triangle.  Thanks also to Dr. Lynn VanWagnen for his magic touch on the North Lake/Hyde Road triangle.  Clark Lake is a more beautiful place because of these efforts.

Photo: Rick Belcher

Please continue to pray for the safety of our men and women in the military and all first responders.

I look forward to seeing any of you on the water during these remaining days–because it is “good being seen…with you.”

The Community Center board.

Meredythe Hill-Van Dusen, Dotty Karkheck, Sandy Petykiewicz, John Karkheck, Diane Deming, John Deming