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Football fundraiser expected to draw crowd


By Brian Wudkwych
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Saturday won’t be the only day for tailgating this week, as the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain will host its seventh annual Ultimate Pre-game Party on Friday to both entertain and raise funds for the seven clubs across eastern North Carolina.

An estimated 800 people will attend the “football casual” fundraiser at the Greenville Convention Center, according to chief development officer Theresa Gilmore, who has helped organize the event since 2013.

First South Bank is the event’s title sponsor and is pitching in $25,000 in addition to whatever proceeds are raised throughout the night through live auctions and ticket purchases that will help staff the Boys & Girls Clubs, according to Gilmore.

“For the most part it just goes to the bottom line operating expenses of the Boys & Girls Club,” Gilmore said. “We are in the kid-service business. We don’t have a product, we have a service. So we hire highly-trained professionals to work with our youth. We’re having to make sure that we’ve got the right employees and enough employees to make sure that we’re here.”

Kirk Dominick, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain CEO, said he hopes the event will raise between $150,000 and $200,000 towards the overall goal of $4.5 million in private donations.

“As much as it is a fundraiser, it’s also a friend-raiser and it’s a great way to get a lot of people together, let them have a good time and infuse them with the Boys & Girls Club message,” Dominick said.

Gilmore said the event will be broken up into outside and inside events, both of which will feature live music and plenty of food. The first half of the event, which takes place outdoors, features food vendors like Smash Waffles, Parker’s BBQ and Domino’s Pizza as well as cold drinks and live music.

The indoor portion of the event will feature music from The Perfect 10 Band in addition to food, beverages and both a silent and live auction of sports tickets, cruises, vacations and more.

The tailgate also will feature a brand new fundraising event that showcases the talents of the kids in the clubs. A boys versus girls sing-off will pair kids with community partners in a lighthearted competition to help raise money.

Tickets for the event range from $80 to $150 and sponsorships range from $2,500 to $25,000 and can be found online at the Boys & Girls Clubs website: http://www.bgccp.com.

“It is one of the ways for us to celebrate Boys & Girls Clubs in the community,” said Dominick. “We’ll have a huge audience there to market ourselves.”