Boys & Girls Club to host inaugural Steak’N’Burger; guests to hear from Coach Rick Barnes and club members

Published 8:48 am Monday, May 2, 2016

Elizabethton, Tenn. – The Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County will host its inaugural Steak ‘n’ Burger luncheon on Tuesday, May 17 at 12:00 pm at the local Club. The Club is seeking to raise over $20,000. As the organization’s largest fundraiser, proceeds from this event are crucial to the Club’s ability to serve the growing number of youth who have a need for its services. The event is presented by Citizens Bank.

Rick Barnes, men’s head basketball coach at the University of Tennessee, will highlight the luncheon as a special guest speaker. Barnes has completed his first year as head coach of the Volunteers and has an impressive legacy of head coaching experience leading him to Knoxville. Sam LaPorte, Board President of the Boys & Girls Club, said, “We’re extremely thankful for the University of Tennessee and Coach Barnes for supporting this event. Coach Barnes’ presence will get people into the doors and help us show the community the work we are doing at the Club.”

While this is the first time the Elizabethton community will host this event, the fundraiser is not new to Boys & Girls Clubs that have held the mission-centered fundraisers for decades. The name “Steak ‘n’ Burger” comes from the fact that attendees will enjoy delicious burgers alongside club members who will enjoy a special steak lunch. Ginny Wright, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club, explained, “This event is truly about the kids. We want you to talk to them, get to know them and experience the difference the Club can make in the life of a child. You might even have to help them cut their steak!” In addition to sitting with club members, attendees will also hear a Club parent describe the impact the Club has made on her family and will enjoy two young people emceeing the event.

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Over the past two years, the Club has quadrupled in average attendance. During the academic year, this has meant that the Club has gone from serving approximately 30 youth a day in the 2013-2014 year to averaging 67 during the 2014-2015 year to currently averaging over 130 each day for the 2015-2016 year. A $10 weekly fee for these young people includes the targeted programming they need as well as a healthy snack and dinner, but despite the reasonable cost of attendance, most members do not pay the full fee due to financial need. This means as attendance grows, so does the need for the organization to generate additional funding.

“Fundamentally, our growth is good. It means we’re providing a valuable service but also that there is a real need for that service within our community,” Wright added, “And while we can physically serve many more in our building, there will come a time when we cannot financially accept more members because of budget demands.” That cap is based on multiple factors including the average percentage of fees a child pays as well as the amount of funds raised from corporate support, individual donations, grants and special events. Steak ‘n’ Burger is a crucial part of that puzzle and in the Club’s ability to continue to serve the youth who need its afterschool and summer programs.

If you would like to support the Steak ‘n’ Burger, tickets and sponsorships are available. For more information, contact Elizabeth Williams, Director of Resource Development and Marketing, at (423) 543-2946 or online at