Each year, the Mary Reynolds Spirit of Clark Lake Award is bestowed on a deserving member of the community.  During July, Clark Lakers were asked to submit names and place them in a sealed container at Doyle’s Market.  Flip Reynolds announced the winner during the Raft-O-Rama awards ceremony.

Joe Collins is the 2023 winner.

When it comes to all things Raft-O-Rama, you always find Joe Collins.  Along with other dedicated team players, he is a reason that Raft-O-Rama continues to grow and remains relevant today.  Sixty-two years of success is a remarkable track record, and Joe is part of that legacy.  He’s also ready, willing, and capable when other needs of the community occur. Joe has stepped up to benefit the lake at those times.  Congratulations, Joe!

Here’s a photo of Joe and his support crew at the awards ceremony.


Flip’s mother was Mary Reynolds.  Flip says she quietly found ways to make the lake a better place.  Mary was fun loving, and cheered everyone on at the lake.  She loved Clark Lake, even in the depth of winter.  In her final days, she continued to take part in the community.  Her last Raft-O-Rama was in 1994.  This photo shows Mary (right) with friends Bev Avis (middle) and Meredith Szostek (left).

Previous Spirit of Clark Lake award winners are Mike McKay, Annette Fink, Dan Omo, Rick Belcher, Peggy Collins, Peggy’s late husband Tom, Peggy’s son John, Bill Bendele, Evelyn Menard, Bunty Adams, Louie & Michele Ambs, Bill Tuttle, Bev Avis, Loretto Baker, Don Fowler, R. Tucker Boyers, George Svinicki, Joanne Ambs, Ogden Adkins, John & Dotty Karkheck, Dick Cochran, Woody Newman, Ann Swain, Pat Dwyer, Jamie Mercer, Sam & Kathy Pease, and Meredith Szostek.

Events like Raft-O-Rama don’t happen without planning and hard work.  This year was no exception.  Here are some of the people who ensured that Raft-O-Rama didn’t miss a beat.

Not pictured, but not forgotten are Kyle Main, and Maris Anderson.

Raft-O-Rama looks for judges not connected to Clark Lake to minimize bias when deciding the winners.  This year, instead of sun, they got rain.  A bit soggy, they still performed their due diligence.  You can see the results of the competition by clicking here.

Rafts are photographed as they pass by the Marina gas dock.  Dale and Cyndi Pease helped the photographer/reporter by helping to protect his pricey Nikon from the rain.  The couple, from Lake Columbia, came equipped with umbrellas which turned out to be great help.  Pictured between them is Joe Collins, who holds the sign designed to get the attention of the competitors as they approach the dock.

The Lions Club plays a major role in the day.  What would the Party at the Point be like without chicken dinners?

Lion Walt Reed with Eagle Point’s Blair Huff.

Police Chief Jay Niles was on hand.  He supports the Clark Lake community, and his presence is always appreciated.

Blair Huff is Eagle Point’s owner, maintaining and expanding its legacy at Clark Lake.  Throughout Raft-O-Rama and always, Blair is a gracious host welcoming visitors to the Marina, Eagle’s Nest, and this historic piece of land known as Eagle Point.  Blair connects to what’s important to Clark Lakers.  For the next two weeks, he is holding a boat sale, new and used, featuring sought after pontoons from Bentley and Southbay, and Centurion wake board boats.  He’s says the “the Best Summer of Your Life Never Ends at Eagle Point Marina.”  Feels like sunshine and a gentle summer breeze, doesn’t it?

Blair and the Marina’s Tom McCutchen

Below are some of the Raft-O-Rama fans and participants who enjoyed Eagle Point on Sunday.