ALBANY, Ga. -- Final plans are coming together for the third annual Wakefest, set to take place at the Turner Boat Landing in East Albany Saturday.
This year's event is benefiting Taylor Rumph, 7, who suffers from cerebral palsy due to brain damage caused by lack of oxygen during birth. She lacks a suck/swallow/gag reflex, making it necessary for her to be fed by a tube inserted into her stomach, and she is considerably behind developmentally, information available on the youngster states.
"The family goes out of town a lot (for medical treatments), and when she gets a cold, it can be deadly," said Camille Miles, one of the group helping to organize Wakefest. "A lot of (her care) is not paid for by insurance.
"The families benefit so much (from this event every year)."
Miles' son, Adam Gilbert, is among a group of individuals primarily responsible for coordinating the event. Companies from throughout the area have donated refreshments as well as raffle and door prizes for the event, Miles said.
Local musical groups will be on hand to provide entertainment. As many as 75 riders are expected to compete in seven categories, Miles said.
The competition will be an all-day event beginning at 9 a.m. Competitors pay a $25 riding fee, which includes a T-shirt. A flyer on the event indicates additional merchandise will be available for purchase.
"Wakeboarding is a growing sport, and it is for such a good cause," Miles said. "It (the event) gives you a whole new perspective on things. (The Rumph family) doesn't think it is an imposition to have a special needs child."
More than 600 T-shirts have been printed, which will include the names of the more than 60 participating sponsors. While coordinators are not taking on any more sponsors, Miles indicated that they are still accepting raffle and door prizes.
Gilbert said that proceeds from Saturday's event will go toward Taylor's medical expenses. Last year, Wakefest raised roughly $5,000, a mark organizers hopes to beat this year.
"This (wakeboarding) is something I enjoy," Gilbert said. "The last couple of years, (Wakefest) has gotten really big."
Awards will be presented to the competition's category winners. Those seeking more information may call Miles at (229) 886-2057 or Gilbert at (229) 886-6666.