ALBANY -- A local organization is gearing up for its biggest fundraising event of the year.
On Tuesday, the Boys and Girls Club of Albany will host its 23rd annual "Steak-N-Steak" dinner at the Darton College arena.
The event provides the group's financial supporters an opportunity to meet and socialize with the youths they support. It also provides them an opportunity to teach "hands-on" social skills and etiquette to their members.
"It's an opportunity for the Boys and Girls Clubs to tell their story to the community," said Boys and Girls Club of Albany Chief Professional Officer Ed Deming. "We have the children sit with the adult sponsors."
Three hundred children are expected to be among the 600-700 attendees booked for the event.
Sales for admission to the dinner are up 10-15 percent from the previous year, Deming said.
"People understand the importance and value of service the Boys and Girls Club provides, and they've responded in a positive way," he said.
Some of the items up for auction include a three-month family membership to the Albany Area YMCA, a one-night stay at Quality Inn Merry Acres and a winetasting for 20 with musical entertainment.
Deming said the whole event centers around the club's impact and overall goal, which is to offer an after-school program designed to keep children in the community away from elements that encourage risky behavior.
"We are open when schools are not," he said. "We have trained and experienced staff, and we are here to encourage positive reinforcement.
"We make sure they get more than just fun."
The club will also recognize its Youth of the Year at the dinner. Three Boys and Girls Club of Albany alumni members will appear as guest speakers.
Reception and auction is at 5:30 p.m, with dinner starting at 7 p.m.
Prices are $300 for "Silver Level" sponsors, which includes four tickets, $500 for "Gold Level" sponsors, which includes six tickets, and $1,000 for "Platinum Level" sponsors, which includes six tickets per $500. Half-tables are also available at $150. Officials plan to take reservations up until Monday.
"It's not too late for people to join us," Deming said.
There are 11 units that fall under the Boys and Girls Club of Albany umbrella, including the Calhoun County Unit in Arlington.
For more information, call (229) 439-0196.