Boys & Girls Club to host annual Steak ‘n’ Burger with guest Bob Kesling

Published 8:30 am Friday, April 19, 2019

The Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County will host its annual Steak ‘n’ Burger on Thursday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the local Club. The Club is seeking to raise $100,000. As the organization’s largest fundraiser, proceeds from this event are crucial to the Club’s ability to provide the growing number of youth who have a need for its services. The event is presented by Citizens Bank.

This year Bob Kesling, the Voice of the Vols and Director of Broadcasting for the Vol Network, will welcome guests and share his story. Kesling got his start with the Vols as a walk-on fullback on the 1972 freshman football team, but his broadcasting career began shortly thereafter when he was hired by John Ward as film editor in 1974. He has since worked his way up the ladder, working in many roles from spotter to play-by-play to anchor. He took his first role with the Vols Network in 1999. Kesling is extremely engaged in the community. He serves on the board of directors for Goodwill, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame and was the 2013 United Way Campaign Chairman. He is extremely supportive of Boys & Girls Clubs in Knoxville and Greeneville and has been honored for his work by Boys & Girls Clubs of America with both a CARE Award and Man to Youth Award. Elizabeth Williams, Resource Development and Marketing Director for the Boys & Girls Club, said, “I don’t know if we could have found a better representative for our cause. Bob Kesling is not only a successful leader in his field, but he truly is an advocate for mentoring and for supporting kids who need us in the community.”

The event, which gets its name from the fact that attendees enjoy burgers alongside Club members who enjoy a special steak dinner, is focused on the kids that it provides for. Club members sit at tables with attendees, speak at the event, and greet you at the door. “This event is intended to show you what the Club is all about, so we want the kids to be the real stars,” Williams added. For Club members, participating in the event means they get to interact with community leaders, practice their table manners, and, for some, even speak on stage, and while Steak ‘n’ Burgers are not new to Boys & Girls Clubs nationally, the event was introduced in Elizabethton in 2016. The inaugural event saw wide success, bringing in around $38,000 for Club programs. Last year, the event raised over $100,000. While a large sum of money, Williams explains that this is only part of what the Club is charged with raising each year. “We keep our fees low for both our afterschool and summer programs, but we provide scholarships for most families to ensure that every child who needs our services has access and the ability to come.” Williams says last year alone they provided around $100,000 in scholarships.

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The club provides transportation to 11 of the 16 city and county schools, and members walk from Elizabethton High School. During the school year, the organization stays open until 7 p.m. during which time they serve an afternoon snack and dinner. Club members also have access to homework help, various mentoring programs, and other healthy activities. During the summer, hours expand from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are served. While the format is similar, the Club is able to do a lot more activities with the longer summer hours. Some of these activities include 2-3 weekly field trips. Williams explained, “It’s so important for us to help our kids fill their time with productive choices. We want to help them visit colleges, make fun summer memories, learn life lessons, and just generally enjoy being a kid.” These activities would not be possible, she explained, without the support of the community. “Steak ‘n’ Burger and the community as a whole is the only reason we are able to be here for these kids. Without a successful event, without the generosity of everyday citizens, there is no way we could do our work.”

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