The Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi kicked off its 2023 Annual Giving Campaign virtually via Zoom and Facebook Live on Wednesday.
Last year, the campaign raised over $270,000 for the five North Mississippi Clubs located in Lee, Tippah, Union and Lafayette counties.
This year, supporters of the movement and community partners took part in a virtual discussion led by WCBI’s Allie Martin. The 2023 Campaign Chair Lindsey Chaney and BGCNMS President Becky Rollins announced this year’s campaign led by a team of volunteers.
Panelists included Ole Miss Baseball Head Coach Mike Bianco, Club Alumni Louis Conley, Rotary Club of Tupelo President Amanda Angle, Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill and Toyota Mississippi Corporate Communications Manager Tiffannie Hedin.
Fundraising will take place now through April 12.
“Boys & Girls Clubs keep activity fees low so that all children can attend,” Chaney said during the virtual kickoff. “Contributions by generous companies, foundations and individuals are each essential for providing our promise to our youth. The Annual Campaign is one way that we close the gap between activity fees and the real cost of delivering services.”
Coach Bianco talked about his experience when he participated in the annual BGCNMS Dance Like the Stars fundraising event in 2018, something he admitted he tried to avoid.
“I’m not a dancer,” he said with a chuckle.
After politely denying the club’s invite to participate in 2017, he said his wife coaxed him into doing it in 2018.
“It was one of the best experiences of my life,” he said. “And one of the scariest. I got to learn more about what the Boys & Girls Club does here in Oxford. We’re so blessed and a lot of people don’t even know what’s happening there. I was floored when I went and visited the center. It really touched my heart.”
The overall campaign goal is $250,000.
Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill said the Boys and Girls Club not only provides a place for children to go after school but helps the local workforce.
“Parents have challenges who work full-time jobs and what their kids are going to do after school,” Tannehill said. “In Oxford, afterschool programs, there’s just not a lot of them and the Boys and Girls Clubs allows our workforce to have a sense of confidence that their children have a safe place to go.”
For more information on the BGCNM, visit their website at www.bgcnms.org.