Boys & Girls Club to host annual Steak ‘N’ Burger with guest speaker Richard Petty

Published 9:15 am Friday, February 28, 2020

The Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County will host its 5th annual Steak ‘n’ Burger on Thursday, April 2, 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. Citizens Bank is the Presenting Sponsor this year.

This year, Richard Petty — the legendary NASCAR driver also known as “The King” — will join us for this very fun event with a question and answer format with the kids. Petty raced from 1958 to 1992 in the former NASCAR Grand National and Winston Cup Series (now called the NASCAR Cup Series). He was the first driver to win the NASCAR Cup Championship seven times, winning a record 200 races during his career, winning the Daytona 500 a record seven times, and winning a record 27 races (10 of them consecutively) in the 1967 season alone.

Statistically, he is the most accomplished driver in the history of the sport, and is one of the most respected figures in motorsports as a whole. He collected a record number of poles (127) and over 700 Top 10 finishes in his record 1,184 starts, including 513 consecutive starts from 1971-1989. Petty was the only driver to ever win in his 500th race start, until Matt Kenseth joined him in 2013. He was inducted into the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010. Petty remains very active, as both a NASCAR team owner (Richard Petty Motorsports) in the Cup Series and owner of Petty’s Garage (car restoration and modification shop) in Level Cross, N.C.

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This event gets its name from the fact that our guests enjoy burgers alongside Club members who enjoy a special steak (for some it will be the first time they have ever had a steak!) — with the focus being 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,” said Susan Carson, the Resource Development and Marketing Director. 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.

While Steak ‘n’ Burger is not new to Boys & Girls Clubs nationally, the event was introduced in Elizabethton in 2016. Since its inception, Steak ‘n’ Burger has raised over $269,000 through sponsorships and donations to the Club. While it is a large amount, Carson 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 can provide scholarships for most families to ensure that every child who needs our services has access and the ability to come.”

In addition to the scholarships, 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 are served an afternoon snack and healthy dinner. Club members also have access to homework help, various mentoring programs, and other fun learning activities.

During the summer, the hours expand from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Breakfast, lunch and a snack 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. Also during the summer, it is important for the Club to help kids fill their time with productive choices. They visit colleges, make fun summer memories, learn life lessons, and just generally enjoy being a kid. These activities would not be possible without the support of this community. Carson explained, “Steak ‘n’ Burger and the community as a whole are 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 offer the programming, scholarships, healthy meals and incredible activities these kids enjoy.”

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