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Cowboy charity

Boys & Girls Club fundraiser exceeds expectations

Michelle Balleck

Chaps and craps equaled holiday fun Saturday as supporters of the Boys & Girls Club of Craig danced, bid for auction items and gambled the night away.

The Cowboy Christmas fundraiser, held at the club, raised more than $12,000 from the 220 guests who attended.

“With all the other Christmas parties and other things going on … we were just astonished at the wonderful support we got,” said Terry Doherty, one of the event organizers and resource development director for the club.

This is the second major fundraiser for the club, which promotes health, social, educational, vocational and character development of boys and girls. Last year, club leaders raised funds with a Roaring Twenties Halloween party

With the profits from ticket and alcohol sales and money from an auction, net proceeds from Saturday’s event should surpass $12,000, organizer Pres Askew said.

“One hundred percent of that $12,000 will be used to support the youth of this community,” Askew said.

Jonathan Godes, executive director of the club, said the event exceeded his goal and that he was pleased to have a completed facility to show off to community members.

The fundraiser also honored businesses and individuals who have supported the club during the past year.

Club leaders recognized Imelda Hernandez as Youth of Year; Susan Domer as Volunteer of the Year; and Frank Hanel, of radio station KRAI, and Samantha Johnston, publisher of the Craig Daily Press, as Persons of the Year.

They also honored Chris Nichols, owner of McDonald’s, as the Business of the Year, for his help in getting a $15,000 fitness grant for the club.

“This was an easy organization for me to get involved with … because of all the great things they do,” Nichols said.

The club has 323 members. More than 100 youths use the club after school each day.

Doherty said she enjoys being a part of the Boys & Girls Club because she can see its long-term benefits to children of Craig.

“I’m a kid at heart,” she said. “I can relate, and I think it’s important to give the kids good self-esteem at a young age.

“To give these kids a better self-esteem and to feel like they’re loved, that’s huge.”

For information on the Boys & Girls Club of Craig, call 826-0411.

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