Fundraiser Raises $60k
Blue and silver balloons could be seen shimmering under the sunrise, as Claude Grizzard, Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia board chairman, began his quest to walk 30 miles in one day. His purpose – to go extreme for the youth in the Birthday Celebration Fundraiser of a lifetime.
As Claude began his laps around the Madison Middle School track, Bob Mackey, BGCNCG CEO & President, was mentally preparing for his extreme task of the day – lifting 500lbs for the fundraiser.
For both men there was no walk too far and no amount of weight that would stop them from completing their set goals and meeting a match funding for the youth of North Central Georgia. Celebrating their birthdays side-by-side doing what they love most felt like the most enriching way to acknowledge each other and more importantly the youth.
After a few hours of brisk laps, Grizzard was surprised to be joined by BGCNCG Club members on the track. Madison-Morgan Boys & Girls Club members entered the track with smiles, tennis shoes laced to walk and signs to cheer their hero onward.
And off they went, Club member after Club member, walking along side Grizzard and his daughter while music played from a sound system provided by BGCNCG.
Grizzard, a recipient of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Champion of youth award, has been with Boys & Girls Clubs for 57 years. His dedication to the movement has been his lives work philanthropically.
“We see the good we are doing for the youth every day,” he shared. “We see lives being changed. And, we hear from our alumni often ‘the Boys & Girls Clubs saved my life.’”
Next to arrive was Pete Nance Boys & Girls Club members, who were eager to grab a balloon and join the celebration with their own personalized signs in hand. As the group grew walking with Grizzard, breakfast goodies arrived for pitstops.
“It’s just so great to see our youth walking with Claude,” Karen Robertson, MMBGC Senior Executive Director said. “He continues to be a beacon of light within our community and an inspiration to our organization on what it means to be a part of this movement.”
Final Club arrival was Walton County Boys & Girls Club teen and tween members. Now surrounded by the youth he walks for, Claude was garnering some serious speed and thumbs ups with every lap turn. Taking a pause at lap 40, everyone began to pack up to head onward to the next event of the celebration.
That event would be Bob Mackey’s big lift at Madison Fitness Center. With lifting gloves on, Mackey began greeting the crowd prior to the lift. When noon arrived the fitness center was full of BGCNCG supporters ready to see if Mackey could push the weight.
With a countdown of 3,2,1 Mackey benched not 500 lbs, but 515lbs twice!
The crowd cheered and gave high fives to those near as they celebrated Mackey’s more than successful lift.
“We are so appreciative for each one of you who continue to partner with us in ensuring our youth finish first in life,” Mackey said. “When Claude and I realized we shared birthdays so close to each other we thought that was something special, but nothing tops sharing our birthdays to go extreme for our youth. They are the future of our communities and it is our honor to go to great lengths to enrich their lives.”
In total the Birthday Celebration raised $60,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia.
“This fundraiser is for our corporate entity and will help us to fund our corporate budget in assisting with our local Club’s mission to continuing impacting youth,” he shared. “Our local Clubs need a financially strong parent organization to ensure that our youth inside our local Clubs get their needs met. We are so excited for the outcome of this fun event. Truly, our youth are the winners of extreme outpouring of love.”
BGCNCG is an organization in rural Georgia consisting of six counties located in Putnam, Newton, Morgan, Greene, Jasper & Walton. To learn more or donate online, visit www.bgcncg.comor call 770-267-8034.