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Ford Center Hosts Concert Tonight To Benefit Boys And Girls Club

Trae Edwards.
Trae Edwards.

The Gertrude C. Ford Center, in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club of North Mississippi, will host a night of gospel music with Trae Edwards and Michael English tonight, Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

English, a two-time Dove Award winner, will tell his testimonial, which Margaret King, board member of the Boys and Girls Club, said is wonderful for both children and adults to hear.

“It’s just excellent,” King said. “Trae Edwards has one of the most beautiful renditions of the ‘Old Rugged Cross.’”

Michael English.
Michael English.

The Ford Center holds roughly 1,100 attendees, and King said she hopes to sell every ticket to benefit the Boys and Girls Club.

“The Boys and Girls Club is in great need of the money,” King said. “You see this beautiful building of the Boys and Girls Club… how wonderful it is, but you don’t realize what it costs to walk in the door and cut on the lights. Isn’t it wonderful that they have such a safe environment to go to and they get their homework done and then they have time to play.”

img_5576King said the club won ‘Club of the Year’ under the newest club director, Amy Goodin, who also won ‘Regional Director of the Year.’

Goodin has only been director for just over a year and has brought many new programs into the club.

“I can’t say enough things about her,” King said. “She’s very creative and she knows how to get resources into that Boys and Girls Club at a minimum. We certainly do love her.”

A former middle school teacher herself, Goodin said middle school is where her heart is.

“I love middle school kids,” Goodin said. “They’re just at that awkward phase, which I feel like we spend most of our lives in… We just hide it better.”

Goodin hopes the fundraiser will allow the board to sustain the programs that are in place as well as expand to new programs.

img_3616“We have kids from all the public and county schools; so, that means we have a wide variety of programs,” Goodin said. “Every day the kids have some kind of curriculum or class they go to.”

Goodin said younger children, ages 6 – 9, participate in what is called a high-yield activity, which combines an academic component with a physical component. For example, children are placed in a group and given a word, and they have to spell out the word with their body.

For older children, ages 10 – 12, the girls and boys are split up and the girls participate in “Smart Girls” and the boys in “Passport to Manhood.”

“It teaches them everything from how their body changes to what friendships are supposed to look like, what an unhealthy relationship looks like,” Goodin said. “And it teaches them how to recognize healthy things in their life and to follow those, and how to recognize unhealthy things and get rid of them.”

image1-170For teens, there are programs such as “Money Matters” and others that teach students of the importance of graduation and how to apply for college.

The Boys and Girls Club is open year-round, and through offers snacks and meals to the children throughout the year. As Goodin said, the price to join the Boys and Girls Club is beyond reasonable. For the first child, it’s $25; for the second, $15 and the third, $10.

“The most you’ll pay for a semester is 50 dollars,” Goodin said. “This is why we need a fundraiser, to keep the prices reasonable.”

Randall Haley is the managing editor for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at randall.haley@hottytoddy.com.

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