“Its about supporting the children in Bradley County that need our help the most,” said Charles Sutton, executive director of the Cleveland Boys and Girls Clubs. “A lot of these kids are living in households that earn less than $10,000 a year and face huge barriers when they walk out the door.”
Added Sutton, “These kids are faced with drugs, alcohol, prostitution — you name it and this club is helping them overcome those obstacles.”
Board members of the Boys & Girls Clubs warn participants they need to come prepared to have fun. For $500, participants can purchase a ticket for heavy hors d’oeuvres for two and a chance to win thousands. According to a recent press release, “The event will be filled with opportunities to stay in the game by donating your ticket back to the club or purchasing the tickets of other players remaining in the game.”
This is a time for the Boys &Girls Clubs to get the community involved in their mission to, “enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”
Steve Hixson, chief volunteer officer, encourages the public to buy a ticket.
“This is the only event that you can attend and leave with more money than you spent and help the most important sector of our community (children),” Hixson explained.
Cash for Kids is made possible through the Tennessee Charitable Gaming Implementation Law. The law allows for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to operate an annual game of chance. There will be 10 winners who will win anywhere from $1,000 up to $30,000 for the grand prize winners.
“By the end of the night you have people separated in groups trying to get the grand prize,” Hixson said.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland currently has seven units in Bradley County and Polk County. At each unit the children qualify to become a Youth of the Month. At the end of the year, those children qualify for the Youth of the Year contest. The Youth of the Year is then qualified to enter a number of national events and scholarship opportunities.
“This year we have a great little Youth of the Year winner and I am going to have her speak at the fundraising event,” Hixson said.
In addition to the Youth of the Year, the host of the evening will be Hixson. He will lead the participants through opportunities to win an assortment of monetary prizes, including the grand prize. Vanna White look-a-likes will aid Hixson in turning the barrel with the ticket stubs and other activities through the night.
Those interested in buying a ticket may contact any of the Boys & Girls Clubs board members or call the administrative office at 559-8299. Those who are interested in volunteering for the event are invited to help with setup on Aug. 22 and 23 or tear-down following the event.