CORNELIUS – A business networking group is looking to generate more interest through the talents of a local restaurateur – and a big cornhole prize.

Business Leaders Unleashed, or BLU, is holding Crawfish & Cornhole 1-6 p.m. Sunday, July 15, outside of Harvey’s Cornelius, where owner Charlie Dyer will be providing the main course.

BLU president Titus Bartolotta started the networking and marketing company two years ago with Bob Gors and expects 1,500 people to attend the event. 

The all-you-can eat crawfish boil tickets had to be purchased already, but burgers and bratwursts will also be available that day. Additionally, there is a cornhole tournament, live music, beer from local breweries, a bounce house and a dunk tank.

The cornhole tournament costs $60 and will have games on a 20-minute time limit. The winning team wins a five-night cruise for two to both team members, choosing from multiple lines.

“We’re trying to avoid ringers,” Bartolotta said. “We’ll let teams sign up day-of.”

Crawfish & Cornhole also serves as a fundraiser for the Mooresville-based Food for Days organization that provides “backpack meals” for children on the weekends.

“It helps fund to fill backpacks so they can eat on the weekends,” Bartolotta said. “We’d like to cut them a check and put a little money in their pocket.”

And the entertainment will feature some local celebrities likely getting wet.

“Huntersville Mayor John Anerella will be in the dunk tank,” Bartolotta said, adding Range at Lake Norman owner Tricia Sisson also is participating.

Rebekah Sidden will represent Food for Days at its booth, which will accept food and monetary donations.

BLU held a golf tournament last year and has held bowling and billiards, too.

“(We wanted) to create fun events, and attach a charity to help lift up and help folks in need,” Bartolotta said. “We’re looking to create a great networking social vibe.”

BLU has approximately 200 members with chapters locally for Lake Norman, Mooresville and Concord, as well as for Matthews, Ballantyne and South Park. Its mission statement says it wants to be “Far more than networkers only interested in passing business cards,” and “To depend on each other for individual and team success.”

“It’s a space local professionals can thrive,” Bartolotta said. “It’s not a bad way to spend your time as a businessperson.”

Harvey’s Cornelius is at 19906 N. Cove Road, Suite A. The event is pet- and kid-friendly. 

“We’re praying it doesn’t rain and it’s not too hot,” Bartolotta said.

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