Bridgewater Marina raises over $26,000 for Make-A-Wish

The year-long ‘Feed the Fish for Make-A-Wish’ program donates all popcorn sales to the non-profit

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. – A decades-long annual tradition is helping to grant wishes to children with critical illnesses.

Each year, kids come to the Bridgewater Marina at Smith Mountain Lake to feed popcorn to the massive carp that gather around the docks. All popcorn sales are donated to Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia.

This year, the campaign raised $26,433 for the organization.

“All of the money is raised by SML residents and visitors, so it’s truly our awesome customers who make the donations possible,” said Ryan Waters, Bridgewater Marina Partner. “We are extremely grateful for their enthusiastic support of this amazing organization.”

“Feed the fish for Make-A-Wish” began in 2017 with the goal of turning a tradition into a way to contribute to a charity that serves children. In six years, the program has donated $147,590 in total to the non-profit.

“Wishes create hope and restore joy for children battling critical illnesses right here in Virginia, and can be a real turning point in their battle,” said Paige Bullen, Director of Development for the Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia chapter. “We are deeply grateful to the dedicated staff at Bridgewater Marina and the generous Smith Mountain Lake community for making this incredible donation possible. We are so proud to partner with them and grant more wishes for children across the state thanks to the success of Feed-The-Fish For Make-A-Wish.”

Waters said the Marina will continue to donate to the cause this year with a goal of raising $30,000.

About the Author:

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.