Boys & Girls Club event raised nearly $90,000, officials report
The tally is finally in, and it appears the recent Diamond Affair raised about $90,000 for the Jackie Robinson Boys & Girls Club.
The tribute dinner and renaming event of the youth center in honor of the Grady County native took place here the weekend of March 15-16 with Robinson’s daughter, Sharon, on hand along with other sports notables.
“It was just a very successful event. We were so pleased with the outcome, and we thought there was great support from the community,” said Nola Daughtry, event chairwoman.
The special events too place just weeks before this weekend’s opening of the much anticipated movie “42” about Robinson’s rookie season. The more than 600 guests at the Diamond Affair dinner presented by Flowers Foods were able to enjoy a viewing of the movie trailer.
Because there was only a limited number of 35 mm prints made of “42” Cairo’s Zebulon Theater has to wait two weeks before it can get the film. The majority of copies of the movie were released in a digital format, which is what most movie theaters have converted to using. Due to the cost of such a conversion, the Zebulon continues to show only films on 35 mm formats.
The timing of the movie release and the renaming of the Boys and Girls Club has excited supporters who say that although $90,000 is a great amount of money, it is only one-third of what they need to operate the club each year.
Further fund raisers are being planned for later in the year, including a Pitch, Hit and Run conducted by Major League Baseball here on May 4. The measured event will be open to the first 100 youngsters to arrive at the Jackie Robinson Boys and Girls Club, located in Cairo’s Holder Park. Although that event is free to participants, club volunteers will be selling concessions as part of a fund raiser.
Also, sponsorships are for sale on signs to be placed around the youth club’s baseball field. Other activities in the making include a quail hunt and gold tournament, and next year’s Diamond Affair. Mrs. Daughtry said the timing of next year’s dinner will be scheduled so it does not conflict with baseball’s Spring Training, an issue that prevented some from attending the inaugural Diamond Affair. In addition, the club will also apply for certain grants.
Daughtry said that on Jackie Robinson Day, April 15, video from this year’s Diamond Affair may be seen on ESPN. She said Cairo has already gotten some additional publicity thanks to the club’s new name. A Macon news crew from WMAZ-TV came here Thursday and interviewed some of the club members and shot video of Robinson’s birthplace to go with a report on “42,” which Daughtry said was filmed in Macon.
“We’re just very excited about the positive things happening that will benefit the youth of our community,” Daughtry commented.