Charity Angels...Celebrating Those Who Give of Themselves
I have said many times that Charity Angels come in all shapes and sizes, but have I said that they also come in groups?
Charity Angels come in singles, doubles and yes, I have even written about a trio of them. In this case, however, I must give credit to quite a large group. This group of angels, simply called the Gala Committee, is head by longtime leaders Stan and Margie Smith. The group has both men and women from virtually every part of the Island and from a variety of professions; there’s a judge, a realtor, an interior designer, a Canadian snowbird, a tennis buff and many more, all working for the same heartfelt cause.
The Gala benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island and raises approximately 30 percent of the club’s yearly budget. It features a beautifully decorated ballroom, a silent auction, live auction and dancing to a great band. Yes, it has pre-dinner drinks, a sit down dinner, and all of the other things you would expect to see in this type of an evening, but there is something more. The event has an attendance of around 400 and the room is buzzing. There is some sort of magic about this evening that sets it apart. It is the cause.
The Boys & Girls Club has an attendance of around 200 children per day and their summer program serves more than 300. These children are offered a dazzling array of programs and opportunities that often produce life-changing results.
Violin taught by a volunteer from the Hilton Head Symphony, golf, tennis, art taught by a professional teacher, sports, boat rides and TV production are only part of the list. The children have a special technology teacher and do everything from robotics to graphic art. They have a special reading program taught by a certified teacher. They have opportunities to participate in field trips to all parts of the island and access to events that perhaps would not be available to them otherwise. In other words, opportunity!
Other lessons are taught here, too. Perhaps of even greater importance is the fact the children are taught the value of honesty and good behavior. They are taught sportsmanship, fair play and values. For example, there is a very popular cooking class available at the club. But, it is not just cooking. It is about good food, bad food, nutrition, health and all of the aspects of proper eating habits. No opportunity is missed to broaden the educational message.
Many dedicated volunteers from all walks of life perform much of the work at the club. Adults share preparation of a Thanksgiving dinner, packing of hundreds of cookies for Treat the Troops, a Santa visit complete with toys, and another visit from Santa for special needs youngsters.
At the recently held Gala, graduates of the program spoke about their club experiences. One was a Ph.D. candidate, another was a businessman and the third was a nursing student. As the club celebrated 25 years of service, these alumni were shining examples of why the event was sold out and the monetary goal was exceeded.
The committee responsible for the success of this wonderful evening has been united in a common goal for years. All share the desire to help young people achieve their highest potential. Yes, the guests dress up in their evening gowns and dinner jackets, but the reason for their participation is never forgotten or downplayed.
Think about over 200 children every afternoon from after school to six o’clock in the evening. If they were not here in this wonderful place, ask yourself the obvious question: Where else would they be? What potential would be wasted and which future leaders, doctors, teachers and more would be lost? If you are interested in finding about more about the Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head or becoming a volunteer, call 843-689-3646 for information. They will be glad to share the mission with you and welcome your participation with open arms. You, on the other hand, will reap untold rewards.
Charity Angels in a cluster are UNSTOPPABLE, POWERFUL and DYNAMIC.