Barbecue to raise funds for Boys & Girls Club

By Ed Brock

Fans of Ecuadorian folklore dance and good barbecue won't be able to pass on the Clayton County Boys and Girls Task Force fund-raiser this weekend.

And that's not to mention anyone who would like to finally see a Boys and Girls Club of America come to Clayton County.

“We know our citizens want to have a Boys and Girls Club in Clayton County and we encourage them to come and make a donation,” said Michael Glanton, a member of the task force.

The task force needs about $300,000 to open a Boys and Girls facility, so it will hold its first fund raiser, the “News Daily Barbecue at the Beach: Supporting Our Boys and Girls,” on Saturday from 12-4 p.m. at The Clayton County International Park. Along with the food from This is It Barbecue, John's Fine Foods and Best Results Catering and the entertainment provided by the Ecuadorian dancers, author and storyteller Harvey Wilson will be on hand.

Also, there will be a “Best In Show” scarecrow design contest, the winner of which will receive an Apple iPod or a 20-inch television.

Started in 2003 as a result of the Leadership Clayton program sponsored by the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, the task force is dedicated to realize a much older dream of some residents.

“My understanding is there have been several groups in the past that tried to get a Boys and Girls Club and for one reason or another it didn't come about,” Glanton said.

The mission of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and of metro Atlanta is to provide developmental programs to young people, especially those from poor circumstances.

Adult tickets to the barbecue are available for a voluntary $10 donation and a child's hot dog plate will be $3, but the task force is also looking for more substantial donations. Task Force members are working with the Clayton County Boys And Girls Foundation to implement a “Legacy Cornerstones” campaign that will gather sponsorships ranging from $25 to $10,000 a year.

“We chose this name because children are our legacy and as adults we need to help them grow into productive adults,” said state Rep. Gail Buckner, D-Jonesboro, who is president of the foundation.

Donations can be made at the restaurants participating in the event, at the News Daily office at 138 Church Street in Jonesboro, at Riverdale City Hall and at Community Capital Bank in Jonesboro.

Call Glanton at (678) 478-7730 or go to www.claytoncountyboysgirls.org for information on the barbecue and the scarecrow contest.