Posted on July 29, 2019
The Downtown Business Association is holding a fundraiser this week to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado, with small businesses on the square donating a portion of sale proceeds to the organization.
“Just trying to help out the kids,” said Denise Taylor, owner of Taylor Jewelry & Design, one of the fundraiser’s participating locations. “I hope they use it in a worthy manner, which I know they will. I just want to help where help’s needed and do my part. I know there’s a lot of kids in need here.”
Funds raised will go towards BGCE programs aimed at the development of life skills. Victoria Hollis, the BGCE’s director of marketing and development, said programs focused on academic success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles will be funded by the fundraiser.
“We got the idea to do this from another Club,” Hollis said in a written correspondence. “We really hope to encourage our community to shop and eat local.”
This is the second year the fundraiser is being held, Hollis said. Ten businesses participated last year, so with 11 this year and sponsorship from the DBA, it’s fair to say the fundraiser has grown.
“The Boys and Girls Club is very important to our community and they do a lot for the children that are maybe less fortunate,” said Brenda Miller, owner of Charlie’s Corner, another participant in the fundraiser. “I just want to do what I can to help the children in the community.”
The fundraiser begins today and will continue through Aug. 3.
With this Thursday being the first in August, the DBA and BGCE decided to team up to present the First Thursday, with this month’s theme being ‘luau.’
“I guess it’s just for the community to get people downtown. … Even just to get people to walk around and see. We just need people to see what we have,” said Tatum Evatt, owner of Mina Rea’s Antiques & Embroidery, another participant in the fundraiser. “Shopping local is important and these fundraisers help the Boys and Girls Club stay open.”
Hollis said the BGCE will participate at First Thursday to show the community some of the fun opportunities available for children at the Club, including limbo, a scavenger hunt and arts and crafts, among other activities. She said she hopes to see attendees dressed for a luau, as the best dressed will win a prize.
“We firmly believe in the Boys Club and what they stand for. I’m all about bringing the community together and having a space for the kids and that’s what the Boys Club is in El Dorado,” said Haley Houldridge, manager of Martha’s on the Square, another participating business. “It’s also going to bring kids from the Boys Club downtown and a lot of those kids don’t get to do that … so this is a way for them to get to experience downtown. I think it’s important.”
Hollis said the BGCE doesn’t have a goal for the amount of money they raise this week. Instead, she said, the primary goal of the fundraiser is to raise awareness, both of the BGCE’s services and the local businesses downtown.
“We’re donating 15 percent of our profits for the week simply because we believe in this opportunity for kids,” said LeAnn Russell, owner of The Southern Hippie, another participating business. This is the first time Russell has been able to participate in the fundraiser, as The Southern Hippie only opened in April. “Also, it’s a great opportunity for them to come downtown.”
The fundraiser, called Shop Downtown for Great Futures, will include the following businesses, per Hollis:
Martha’s on the Square, donating 5 percent of sales
The Southern Hippie, donating 10 percent of sales
Main Street Pizza, donating $10 for every patron that mentions they’re there to support the BGCE
The Latest Wrinkle, donating 5 percent of sales
All About Flowers, donating 15 percent of sales
Murphy Pitard Jewelers, donating 10 percent of sales
Taylor Jewelry & Design, donating 10 percent of sales
Mina Rea’s Antiques & Embroidery, donating 5 percent of sales
Sports Alley, participating through July 31 and donating 10 percent of sales
To learn more about the fundraiser, contact the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado at 870-863-8753.
Caitlan Butler can be reached at 870-862-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.