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Boys and Girls Clubs set fundraiaser

ALBANY -- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany will hold their 24th annual Steak-N-Steak Dinner and silent auction Friday at the Darton College arena.

BGCA Executive Director Ed Deming said more than 750 people, including more that 100 sponsors, are expected to attend the organization's largest fundraising event of the year.

"This event is crucial to us because it is our single largest fundraiser and will enable us to provide regular services to 600 children more than 800 over the summer," Deming said.

The dinner provides the clubs' financial sponsors an opportunity to meet and socialize with the youths they support over the year.

It also provides and opportunity for the BGCA to teach "hands-on" social skills and etiquette to its members.

The evening will begin with a silent auction/reception at 5:30, followed by dinner at 7.

"We've always enjoyed great support from the community," Deming said. "We'll probably raise more than $50,000. We are serving more kids now than ever before, and without this money we would not be able to provide programs and services to the children who need us the most."

Deming said the key to keeping kids out of trouble is providing them with a stable, safe environment after school from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"Attendance is the key to having an impact on these kids' lives," Deming said. "If they are at the club, they stay out of trouble. So, when kids aren't in school, we are there for them."

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany now serve more than 5,000 youths per year at 11 locations in two Southwest Georgia counties.

Lamar Reese Elementary School became the BGCA's first school-based location in 2005. There are now school programs in four other elementary schools.

The BGCA also sponsors technology labs at Sylvester Road Elementary and Turner Elementary, which are used during the school day by all students.