Boys & Girls Clubs prepares for Cash for Kids fundraiser
by DELANEY WALKER, Banner Staff Writer
Jul 24, 2013 | 938 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland supporters have purchased their tickets, prayed for luck and prepared themselves for a night of fun and fundraising at the annual Cash for Kids Dream Giveaway Friday.

Steve Hixson, Cash for Kids committee chair, claimed, “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 — kids.”

Two-hundred tickets costing $500 each have been sold to the public. One ticket purchases a chance to win the grand prize of $30,000 and entrance for two guests. The event will be held Friday, July 26, at the Cleveland Country Club.

Ticket stubs are placed in pill boxes. The boxes are mixed in a drum to be picked at random by BGCC board members. Every ticket will be read throughout the course of the event. Certain tickets, like the 50th, 100th and 150th, drawn will award the participants with the corresponding ticket a cash reward.

Initial winners can either choose to take their cash or stay in the game. Those who stay in must give half of their prize back to the club. All tickets read on a turn not associated with a cash prize are immediately out of the running. Tickets can be traded and participants are allowed to form groups in an effort to win the grand prize.

Names of the ticket holders and their corresponding stub numbers will be written across a board. Tickets numbers will be crossed out as they are read. A name will be crossed out when all of the corresponding tickets are read. Guests had the option of purchasing more than one ticket to increase their chances of winning.

Charlie Sutton, BGCC executive director, said the night is full of fun without losing the reason for the event.

“[Cash for Kids] directly affects our operating dollars,” Sutton said. “It directly affects our investments into the infrastructure and opportunities for our kids, especially in the area of education.”

Cleveland’s clubs have recently invested into the science technology engineering and math education program, or STEM. Children are being taught how to operate small robotics and use iPads among other things.

Sutton said he believes members must learn how to use the technology to be competitive in today’s world.

“... They don’t have a parent who is going to purchase that iPad for them. They don’t have a desktop computer to do research at home,” Sutton said. “When they come to the Boys & Girls Clubs, they find all these tools and it puts them at the same technical [level] as the other kids.”

He said children will then be able to compete at the same level in college and the workplace.

“There is not that huge digital divide they would face without the Boys & Girls Clubs because of the economics of their family,” Sutton said. “Their families just cannot pay for an iPad, pay for an Internet connection. All those things that are huge benefits in learning.” 

Meeri Shin, BGC’s Tennessee Youth of the Year winner, will present her speech to the guests.

Sutton is confident participants will hear Shin’s story and believe in what the clubs are doing. They will know, “We are taking children from a certain challenge in their lives to an opportunity in the future.”

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.