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May. 21, 2019
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Friends of Lake Lanier seeking members to support COE

By Pamela A. Keene
 
For the past two years, a dedicated group of volunteers associated with the Corps of Engineers at Lake Lanier has been working behind the scenes to help ensure a positive recreational experience for the lake’s 8 million visitors.
 
 Now the group, Friends of Lake Lanier, is seeking to broaden its membership. At a meeting in mid-April, the group and its Corps of Engineers Adviser Tim Campion reported on its work and successes. Nearly 20 people attended the meeting/open house. 
 
“This group has made significant contributions to the betterment of the recreational experience at Lake Lanier,” Campion said. ‘Not only have they been supportive, they’ve also assisted with raising funds to help offset costs that we as the Corps simply do not have the funds to take care of efficiently.” 
 
The group assisted the Corps in repairing a lower housing on one of the ranger boats last year. “Because of our formalized relationship with Friends of Lake Lanier, we are able to work together to handle smaller issues such as this,” Campion said. “They were able to keep the work local, pay for it from funds they’ve raised and have the motor back in operation quickly.” 
 
The Corps has a formalized agreement with the Friends of Lake Lanier as a cooperating association, which means that the group is authorized to perform certain activities that may raise money for projects on the lake.
 
“This partnership is beneficial to both entities,” Campion said. “It’s a way for people to assist the Corps in our mission while having a chance to volunteer at the lake and improve the recreational experience for visitors. “ 
 
Over the past two years, the group has provided services to visitors that the Corps cannot provide. They’ve been selling ice and firewood in the campgrounds, and operate soft-drink machines. Additionally, the group maintains the laundry equipment in the campgrounds and is able to collect those funds to use to the benefit of the Corps. 
 
“Without our work with the Friends of Lanier, the funds collected from services, such as the laundry facilities, would be returned to the Federal General Funding Washington,” Campion said. “This is a way to keep some of these funds local, to be used directly for the benefit of Lake Lanier.” 
 
The group operates with a board of directors that meets regularly with the Corps. Chief Ranger Chris Arthur will become the adviser of Friends of Lake Lanier in May. The president of the group is Alysia Cahn. 
 
“We are very interested in expanding the membership in Friends of Lake Lanier,” Arthur said. “Please get it touch with us so that we can provide further information and help get you involved in the betterment of recreation at Lake Lanier.” 
 
For more information, contact Chris Arthur at 770 945-9531 or email the group at friendsoflakelanier@gmail.com.

Posted online 4/29/19
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