What is Sweet Lucy’s Affair?

Sweet Lucy’s Affair is a private, lake-based, invitation-only event in support of Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina (FCNC), our local land trust.

Who is Sweet Lucy?

The real question is, “What is Sweet Lucy?” Sweet Lucy is the smoker that the Turner family uses for their locally famous barbecue, served at the Affair every year. The smoker was in turn named for a favorite bourbon-based liquor; a bottle is given as a door prize annually. Mystery solved: Sweet Lucy is a what, not a she.

What is the Leadership Circle?

The Leadership Circle is the heart and soul of Sweet Lucy’s Affair. Each Host family, 26 last year, donates $1,000 or more to Foothills Conservancy in the name of Sweet Lucy’s Affair. These leaders plan, organize, and (of course) host the event.

What’s the purpose of the event?

The event was founded in 2013 to raise awareness about and funds for FCNC, which has saved more than 7,000 acres in the viewshed of Lake James. When you enjoy the beautiful and panoramic views at Lake James State Park – Paddy’s Creek, Dobson’s Knob, the flanks of Shortoff Mountain, and the South Mountains in the distance, you have the conservancy to thank.


How much money has the event raised?

Sweet Lucy’s Affair has raised over $270,000 between 2013 and 2019.

How is that possible?

In addition to our all-important Leadership Circle Hosts, our corporate sponsors, currently Benthos LLC and predecessor Crescent Communities, and Camp Lake James, support the event generously. Our guests make a suggested donation of $75 per person or more to enjoy beer, wine, music, and a fabulous buffet of locally renowned Turner barbecue, vegetarian options, sides and desserts. It all adds up!

What other benefits are there?

Friendships are made and strengthened through Sweet Lucy’s Affair and important connections are made between, among, and across the Lake James communities. Good people, good event, good purpose, good times. Join us!

What’s involved in being a Leadership Circle Host?

Other than contributing, that’s up to you. We have volunteers to design the invitations, expand the lake-based mailing list, promote the event to neighbors, choose the beer and wine, select the menu, buy and arrange flowers, obtain door prizes, stuff and address invitations, emcee, contribute to the cost of pork, and much more. On the day before and day of the event, there’s set-up and break-down, shuttling guests from and to the parking lot, greeting guests and serving prosecco, serving barbecue, and more. There are plenty of hands and experienced Hosts. You can volunteer or just come and enjoy the party.

How do I join the Leadership Circle?

Contact a Leadership Circle Host if you know one or Ann Costello, Host and Project Lead for Sweet Lucy’s Affair (anncostello@me.com or 828-584-7919). We’d love to have you join our Circle!


2019 Corporate Sponsorship Testimonials



Lake James Team

Lake James Custom Homes