Thanksgiving dates to 1621.  The tradition brings families, friends, and communities together, wrapped with a bow of gratitude.  This piece reports on how some of that plays out at Clark Lake.

It’s not unusual to hear people say how much they enjoy Clark Lake, and those words take action in big ways in support of the community.  Presented with recent challenges, two of those actions stand out.  The Community Center was saved and restored.  The Pretty Pergola is now in place, aiding the Garden Angels’ design to add beauty to the Community Center’s setting in the County Park.

Whom should we thank?  The Clark Lake Spirit Foundation received 106 donations for the restoration, each one representing an individual or family, with amounts ranging from $100 to $10,000 and topped with a $50,000 matching grant.  Thirty donations, of $100 to $3,560 made the Pretty Pergola possible.  Without the unpaid volunteers who are part of the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation, the Community Center Leadership Group, Garden Angels, and others, none of this would have happened.  It’s a testament to Clark Lakers who believe in the community and support it with their actions.

Beyond these two happy outcomes are more blessings.  Consider the Spirit Trail.  Because of donor support, work of the committee, and other volunteers, the Trail is maintained and improved.  This summer, two sections were repaved – through the County Park and the old railroad bed parallel to Hyde Road – at a cost of over $50,000.  Donations from the Welcome to Clark Lake Sign and Run Clark Lake were fundamental to hiring the paving contractor.   Both the Run, that attracts hundreds, and the Sign that welcomes all, broadcast the Clark Lake Spirit.

Wherever you look, more blessings are in clear view.  Raft-O-Rama thrives.   For over 60 years, it has entertained and engaged the creativity of so many.

On the same weekend competitors gather on Ocean Beach Road for Run Clark Lake.

Adding to Raft-O-Rama and the Run, Freedom Fireworks inspires Clark Lake’s patriotic salute.

Who would have thought the competition of tiny decapods at Clark Lake would exceed thirty years? The Great American Crab Races continue to thrill and add to Clark Lake summer fun.

The Kids Triathlon, sponsored by Raft-O-Rama and the Clark Lake Yacht Club, focuses on kids and their families.

Friendly competition doesn’t end at Labor Day.  The Clark Lake Spirit is going strong for shuffleboard, both men’s and women’s leagues.

The Polar Plunge breaks through the ice each winter at Eagle Point.

The Clark Lake Cup is not to be missed.

The Clark Lake Yacht Club Regatta takes to the water in the fall.

Kids, parents and grandparents enjoy the Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt.

In August, this website had a birthday – ten years of covering everything Clark Lake, and a 24/7 live view via the DamCam and Spirit Cam.

Columbia Township chiefs look out for our safety – Jay Niles and Scott Cota.

Columbia Township officials work on behalf of Clark Lake.

The blessings are endless.  Spending time with friends and families at this unique spot offers unforgettable experiences and indelible memories, sometimes spanning generations.

The video below asked “what is the Clark Lake Spirit?”  It turns out the answers were on the tip of the tongue, and many had a similar ring to them.  It’s worth a replay to see Clark Lake in action.  As you will notice, the production stretches over a year.

The contrast of our changing seasons jumps out in the video.  Do you recall this?  On Thanksgiving last year, ice covered part of the lake.  This website reported it this way:

Over the last few days, ice formed overnight and covered various parts of Clark Lake.  Warmer during the days, the ice was pushed around by the wind, and for the most part, melted, then returned the next morning.  Around noon on Tuesday, large areas of the lake had a thin layer of ice, as you can see in these two photos.  The first gives a view of the east end with some unusual formations catching the eye.

Go back further to 2013 for this Thanksgiving morning surprise.

Notice the boat lift still in the water. The ice was not solid enough to walk nor did not cover the whole lake.

And so, it was a sign of what weather offers at Clark Lake – endless variety.

Happy Thanksgiving!