The primary fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Shore is not until fall, but the real work for its volunteer board is right now as support is garnered for its Swine & Wine dinner. This year the event is on October 19th at the Mary N. Smith Cultural Enrichment Center outside of Accomac.
That effort had a real kickstart recently when the Club received a $5,000 donation from a couple that wants to remain anonymous. They had seen the difference the Boys & Girls Club made in the lives of our local youth and wanted their funds to go directly to those who needed the essentials to have the same opportunities as others.
Several weeks earlier the Boys & Girls Club had received a $5,000 donation from Wayne Bell through United Way. Bell is the president of the United Way of Virginia’s Eastern Shore and announced at the awards breakfast he was contributing $20,000 to ensure United Way made its fundraising goal, earmarking $5,000 for four organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Shore.
In addition, Dr. George Sabol upped his annual contribution this year by offering to provide free orthodontic care to Boys and Girls Club members who could not afford dental care.
Any group seeking the support of its community needs to prove it makes a difference and produces a positive outcome. That is one reason the Eastern Shore Boys & Girls Club Board has numerous members who have served 10 years or longer. They continue to see the difference the club makes in the lives of the 200 members who attend the after-school program and the day-long summer sessions.
By creating a fun but purposeful club where the unit director and her staff form relationships with the club members, that difference can last a lifetime. That difference is based not only on academic success and making good life choices but also includes treating others with respect and making a positive contribution to the community. The club boasts some amazing success stories of members being the first in their family to attend college or even to graduate from high school in some cases. This year will see seven Boys and Girls Club members graduating from high school and all have postgraduate plans. That is quite an outcome.
That outcome starts with providing a hot nutritious meal each club day, having mentors work with club members on their academic skills, engaging members in physical activities and always demonstrating positive behavior.
Activities at the club support the Boys and Girls Clubs’ mission statement: “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”
The $5,000 donations from Super Sponsors for the Swine & Wine will also help in this effort, as will all the other sponsors who support this annual event. The club depends on the funds raised by the Swine and Wine to remain in existence. Fortunately, it has been spectacularly successful thanks to the generous support of the Eastern Shore community. Many goods and services are donated, but the sponsorships are needed to ensure the club and continue to make a difference in the lives of the youth it serves.
The couple making the significant contribution to Boys and Girls Club is hoping others will step forward – and a small amount can go a long way. The cost of one month’s attendance at the Boys & Girls Club is $30 per member.
To become a Swine and Wine sponsor, a $2,000 Whole Hog sponsorship includes 10 tickets and major signage at the event, a $1,000 Suckling Pig Sponsor receives eight tickets and exposure on event signage, a $500 Spiral Ham Sponsor gets four tickets and exposure on event signage and a $250 Rack of Ribs sponsor gets two tickets and exposure on event signage.
For information on sponsorships or to reserve tickets for Swine and Wine, call Shannon Gordon at 787-7577.