Nearly $25,000 raised for local Boys & Girls Club
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With about 300 people in attendance, Thursday evening’s Diamond Affair raised about $25,000 for the local Boys and Girls Club. The 10th anniversary event benefiting the Jackie Robinson Boys and Girls Club of Cairo and Grady County was held at the Grady Cultural Center under the direction of Amy Hagan, vice chair of the club’s board of directors. Also on hand were Austin Hobson, board chair, Cynthia Hall, board secretary and Courtney Salapa-King, board treasurer.
Stephen Francis, director of the club, thanked Koyo Bearings, the main sponsor of the evening, for its support. Other sponsors included the Charles and Robin Renaud family/Polarmatic Ice, CNS Next, Richter & Co., LLC, Ira Higdon Grocery Company, United National Bank, Grady County and Grady County Schools. Also sponsoring the event were Hobson Chevrolet Buick, Mr. Chick, Cairo Animal Hospital, The Ken Young Co., Capital City Bank, Grady General Hospital, Publix Supermarkets, Washington Middle School, First National Bank, Miss Myrts, Aretha Hill and Grace M. Stallings.
Board member Michael Best served as master of ceremonies for the evening, and the Cairo High School Chorus, under the direction of Ms. Erikka Edwards, performed. In addition, the choir sang the Star Spangled Banner and were accompanied by the JRBGC members. Alyssa Wilcoxson, JRBGC Youth of the Year, told the crowd that the club has helped boost her own self confidence. Chaundra Marshall, a parent of two club members, said she is appreciative of the extra mile Mr. Francis and club staff go for the children.
Founding board member Charles Renaud says the club “teaches children to lift their heads, to look up” and reach for the stars.
Francis impressed upon the audience that each supporter makes a positive impact on the many lives of club members, which will make a positive impact on the community.
After recognizing Scott Cline, plant manager of Koyo, for their support, the club presented a special skit to close out the evening.
Francis said he thought the Diamond Affair was a success. “I saw a community that not only supported the JRBGC financially but also embraced it emotionally with their hearts. I noticed genuine tears of love and understanding for the children and the mission in which the club stands for. I believe that at the end of the day we are all just who we are and all we have is one another,” he said.
Volunteers who serve on the club’s board of directors are: Michael Best, Julian Brown, Demario Byrden, Erikka Edwards, Cynthia Cotton-Jones, Linda Drew Johnson, Brandon Joiner, Charles Ferenchick, Trey Gainous, Teresa Gee Hardy, Buddy Johnson, Andrew Jones, Chris Lokey, Sandy Reagan, Charles Renaud, Fergus Robinson and Arlisha Wildgoose.
Further supporters of the Boys and Girls Club include Law office of Charlie Ferenchick, Richard and Teresa VanLandingham, Ameris Bank, Cairo Physical Therapy, Cindy and Joe Johnson, Cairo High School, Rep. Darlene Taylor, Gainous Well Drilling, Dr. Linda Walden, Charles and Audrey Magee, Sun Stop, Grady County Chamber of Commerce, Bank of Ozarks, Harold and Marjorie Regan, Faith Temple Church, Semper Fidelis Social Club, Sheriff Harry Young, Harriet Kirkpatrick (in honor of Freddie Conkley), Cairo Auto Supply, Teresa Gee Hardy, The Cairo Messenger, Flowerwood Nursery, Rose City Outdoor, Scotts Chicken, Sherry Smith, Pam Hollingsworth, Katelyn Dekle, Tammy Donalson, Linda Drew Johnson, CYC Club (Nola Daughtry and Brooke Reynolds), C.H.S. Culinary Arts, C.H.S. Chorus (Erikka Edwards), JRBGC staff and board of directors.