Glenville barn dance raises $40,000 for area youth
GLENVILLE -- Generosity and bluegrass made for the perfect mix at the recent Mountain Youth Charities Barn Dance and Barbecue. Sawyer Family Farmstead in Glenville hosted the July 21 southern Jackson County youth charities-benefit event.
In addition to great music, there was great barbeque prepared by Cashiers Farmers Market’s “On The Side BBQ,” square dancing called by Joe Sam Queen and line dancing led by accomplished choreographer Danie Beck.
The sold-out event generated donations of close to $40,000, proceeds that go to the Blue Ridge School Education Foundation (BRSEF) and other local youth programs.
“We are humbled by the generous outpouring of support for our community’s children,” said Marcia Shawler, president of MYC. “One-hundred percent of the donations help fund programs that directly benefit local kids. In fact, our first order of business is to hand over a check for $26,000 to the Blue Ridge School Education Foundation. This will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous donor to the foundation.”
The first MYC Barn Dance and Barbecue was conducted in July 2017, an event that raised just more than $40,000. Thanks to countless volunteer hours and strong financial support from local businesses, ticket buyers and kind individuals, all costs related to the dance and dinner are kept to a minimum. After those are covered, according to Shawler, the majority of the money is given to BRSEF with the remainder added to the MYC’s “Fund for Great Programs for Great Children,” which provides grants to local schools and programs for the community’s youth. One beneficiary is Blue Ridge Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM), a group of young performers featured at the Barn Dance.
“We had a fine band, but the kids were the evening’s highlight!” said Virginia Willard, chairman of the MYC Barn Dance and Barbecue committee. “It was an honor to showcase the amazing talents of the kids to a crowd who, for the most part, had never seen JAM perform. Their music truly is remarkable.”
Plans are already in the works for a third annual MYC Barn Dance and Barbece, according to Willard.
“It’s just wonderful that we can have a really fun evening, full of dancing and wonderful food, while raising money to help our local kids,” she said. “The community has been so supportive, and we’re looking forward to doing it again in 2019.”
Both in 2017 and 2018, BRSEF was the principle beneficiary of the MYC’s Barn Dance and Barbecue. Founded in 2002, the foundation provides funds to pay for materials, equipment, instruction and technology that directly impact the students at Blue Ridge School. Teachers and administration submit grant applications to the BRSEF, which in turn reviews the requests and approves funding.
“Every dollar enables our children to have better materials, better instruction, better technology and better equipment,” said Carl Hyde, BRSEF president. “These help prepare the kids for when they go into training for a vocational trade or into college. In addition to direct program funding, we also award [college] scholarships.”
Looking at last year’s MYC Barn Dance and Barbecue contribution to BRSEF, nearly a third of those funds were used for scholarships.
“We are very appreciative of Mountain Youth Charities and the work they do to raise money for the foundation that helps the kids and helps the school,” Hyde said. “Our goal is to make sure those children who are in that public school get every bit of advantage that anybody else gets, in terms of education for their future lives and their future careers.”
Mountain Youth Charities is a local, volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Cashiers. Founded in 2013, its mission is to raise money “to support great programs for great kids.” Those proceeds fund grants to local youth organizations and schools, including: BRSEF, JAM, Hampton Preschool, Summit Charter School, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau.
For information about Mountain Youth Charities, visit www.mountainyouthcharities.org.
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