(pictured above: NBA star and Forsyth County native Chris Paul poses with youngsters at last year’s Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club dinner.)
A familiar agency is a rasing money so that it can continue offer local children a safe and productive environment.
The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club will hold its annual fundraising dinner on Thursday, Aug. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the downtown Embassy Suites.
“The Future is Always Beginning Now” is the theme, and officials are hoping to raise $200,000 to benefit the Ken Carlson Boys & Girls Club, which serves 200 to 250 children during the school year and nearly 300 children during the summer.
“This fundraiser allows us to raise funds to keep … doors open, lights on and programs going,” said Tina L. Carson-Wilkins, the chair of the Club’s fundraising campaign. “We are hoping that people in Winston-Salem will care enough about the children in our community to come out and help us. We hope that they will buy a ticket and come and hear an inspiring speaker.”
R.J. Reynolds High School graduate Robbie Bach will give the keynote address at the dinner. The former president of the Entertainment and Devices Division of Microsoft Corp., Bach oversaw the launch of the breakthrough products like the Xbox, the Xbox 360 and Microsoft TV. The 52-year-old retired from Microsoft in 2010.
He is a former chairman of the Bellevue (Washington) Boys & Girls Club and chairman emeritus of the Board of Governors of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
“We normally invite someone who is a sports figure or is associated with sports. This year, we did something different by inviting someone who knows the inner workings of the Boys and Girls Club America,” said Carson-Wilkins.
Bach, who earned his master’s degree at Stanford after completing his undergraduate studies at UNC Chapel Chapel, is doubly excited to be returning to Winston-Salem. He will also be spending time with his mother, who will be celebrating her 90th birthday during his stay.
“The Boys and Girls Club is a very deep passion for me,” he said. “It is such a wonderful organization that does such incredible things. The opportunity to support any club gets me excited, but when you give me the opportunity to support a club that is in my hometown, it is a nice chance to come back to a community that nurtured me when I was young.”
Bach said that he has not quite put the finishing touches on his speech, but he will focus on the challenges that youth face in America today.
“The statistics are quite stunning when you talk about homelessness, kids who have no place to go after school, who are struggling in school, struggling with drug habits, addictions and gang violence,” he said. “Kids need support and someone who is going to be there and support them. That is what the Boys and Girls Club does. This is our opportunity to give the thousands of kids that need help that opportunity.”
Bach will also speak at a Bell, Davis and Pitt law firm luncheon for young professionals on Friday, Aug. 22 at the Embassy Suites hotel beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Tickets to the Boys & Girls Club dinner are $100. For tickets or more information, call the Club at 336-723-6366.