by Danny Wade
To say 2020 and the pandemic hurt businesses and the general public would be an understatement. One organization was unable to host their largest fundraiser of the year in 2020, which put their finances in dire need.
But 2021 seems to be getting life back to normal. That goes for the Boys & Girls Club of Humboldt as well. Their annual Bird & Burger Dinner is back this year and slated for Saturday, May 1 at 6 p.m.
The Bird & Burger Dinner will have a different venue this year. Typically it is held in the club’s gymnasium where guests sit at tables and each table has two Boys & Girls Club members seated as well.
This year due to safety concerns, the annual event will be held inside a huge tent at the BR Supply Corporate Office on Main St. Club members assisting as servers and other capacities. Instead of the typical buffet style dinner, all food will be served in individual disposable containers. Guest may select from chicken or burger dinners.
Entertainment for the event will be live music by the Crossfire band.
“This is our largest fundraiser of the year,” said Tommy Goodrum, president of the Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors. “We had to cancel last year due to COVID and that really hurt us financially.”
“We suffered,” he added. “We depend on that money to pay staff and the services we offer. PPP money helped the club survive.”
In a regular year, the club serves an average of 150 children each day. When the pandemic hit, the club was forces to close for part of March, all of April and part of May last year. There were also no summer programs offered in 2020.
When the new school year began in August, the club had 30 virtual learning students coming each day and around 30 or 40 coming for the after-school programs. The club has not been running at full capacity since then.
Boys & Girls Club Director Gladys Robinson said it costs $1,500 per child for one year to attend and participate in their programs.
The club qualified for the first two rounds of stimulus funding. This allowed them to hire two certified teachers to work with virtual students. Without the government funds, these positions would not been possible. The bad news is the club may not qualify to receive funds from latest stimulus package that was approved a few weeks ago. B&G officials are trying to find ways in which they would qualify for this round of funding, which is the largest by far at $1.9-trillion.
Even if clubs do find ways to receive stimulus funds, they cannot depend on this type funding as a means to operate their facilities and pay staff. This is where the Bird & Burger Dinner comes into the mix as a recurring fundraiser. All monies from the dinner go directly to the club and is used for children’s programs and the day-to-day operational costs such as building maintenance, salaries, utilities, insurance… the list goes on and on.
Donations are what make the Boys & Girls Club exist and keep the doors open for Humboldt’s children. Even if you may not be able to attend the Bird & Burger Dinner, you can still make a donation to support the club.