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Almost $15,000 was raised for the Bryant Boys and Girls Club at the inaugural Starlight Gala, presented by Landers of Benton and organized by the Bryant Rotary Club.
â€śWe could not be more pleased with and grateful to our community for the overwhelming support at this event,â€ť Suzanne Passmore, executive director of the Bryant Boys and Girls Club said. â€śLanders of Benton, Bryant Rotary and so many others went above and beyond to make this a successful event to benefit our kids.â€ť
There were 250 guests that attended the black-tie affair at Bishop Park, where the gymnasium had been transformed into a winter wonderland on Dec. 3. A catered dinner was provided with live music by Penguin Dilemma and Tom Baxley of Baxley Penfield Moudy Realtors served as master of ceremonies.
A silent auction featured such items as weekend getaways on the White River, muck boots, Kindle Fires, an HDTV, and a black and white diamond necklace valued at $3,000 that was donated by Bakerâ€™s Fine Jewelry in Bryant.
â€śThe entire night was just absolutely beautiful,â€ť Pat Baker, owner of the Bryant jewelry store said. â€śIt was truly a privilege to offer one of our nicest pieces of jewelry for such a wonderful cause.â€ť
Guests arrived to a red-carpet entrance and were greeted by photographers who captured the eveningâ€™s excitement. City, county and state officials, community leaders, parents, volunteers and others enjoyed the evening supporting the Club, which included Miss Arkansas Kristen Glover.
â€śI believe the Boys and Girls Club effectively mentors and impacts the youth of Bryant,â€ť Glover said. â€śIt is powerful to see the community recognize the Boys and Girls Clubâ€™s influence and support their service.â€ť
Founded as the Bryant Youth Association, the organization received its charter from the National Boys and Girls Club of America in 2005. The Club has served more than 4,000 Bryant youth since joining the national organization and continues offering a safe environment for children.
â€śBoys and Girls Clubs are safe places for kids to come to learn and have fun after school and in the summer,â€ť Passmore said. â€śThis is where great futures begin.â€ť
Event sponsors and organizers are already working on next yearâ€™s Starlight Gala, set for Dec. 1, 2012, with hopes of it becoming the premiere charity event in Bryant every year.
â€śThis event shows our community is committed to investing in our childrenâ€™s futures and we hope to make next yearâ€™s gala even bigger,â€ť presenting sponsor Rodney Plack of Landers of Benton said. â€śBeing associated with the Boys and Girls Club of Bryant continues to be a blessing for me and for the Landers family of employees.â€ť