WEDDINGTON, N.C. — It will be a loud weekend at one gym in Union County. Dozens of people are coming out for a 24-hour rowing event.


What You Need To Know

  • The 8th annual Rowathon will be held at Crossfit Weddington
  • Money raised will benefit the CLT Foundation
  • The event helps children with special needs attend camps and obtain college scholarships
  • It runs from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Saturday


12-year-old Cam Ruis has been playing basketball since he was four. His mother, Sheri, says he lives and breathes the sport.

“It’s been a great community for him,” Sheri Ruis said. “It’s physical exercise. It’s social. It’s emotionally good for him.”

He was born with spina bifida and can’t walk because of a birth defect in his spinal cord. But that hasn’t stopped him from excelling in other ways. His basketball team, the Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets, is undefeated this year.

“I have seen him grow as a player and as a person,” Sheri Ruis said. “It is good for him on the court and off the court.”

And someday he hopes to play the sport in college, which is a dream that could be a reality thanks to a local nonprofit.

Mike Dascal is the executive director of the Changing Lives Together Foundation, also known as CLT. They hold camps for children with special needs. Cam Ruis attended one of those camps over the summer.

“There are kids that can’t use their legs for walking and are in a wheelchair, but we had them climbing 20 foot walls,” Dascal said. “We also had them going down big slides and kayaking.”

Dascal said the goal is to show these children that they can accomplish more than they thought. The nonprofit was looking for a way to raise money so these children could get financial assistance for college. 

They didn’t have to look far to find a place. Once a week Cam Ruis works out with the owner of Crossfit Weddington, Cory Worf. Every year the owner holds a rowing fundraiser for a good cause.

“We changed it to CLT Foundation because it is something local, we can be a part of as a group and we can see where the money goes,” Worf said.

Sheri Ruis says this will help many children reach new levels on and off the court. 

“I am always impressed and never surprised that the Charlotte fitness community shows up,” Sheri Ruis said. “I have been to many events and they always show up in large numbers and they’re really happy to help. It’s something to see.”

The rowing event starts Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at Crossfit Weddington, and runs for 24 hours.

Those interested can sign up for 30 minute time slots. To learn more or to sign up for your spot, click here.