Roast helps club succeed

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The 10th annual oyster roast for the Boys & Girls Club Suffolk Unit brought hundreds of people out to Constant’s Wharf Park to have a good time.

Steamed and raw oysters, barbecue, chicken wings and sides were readily available, as were beverages. But it was really all about the children of the club and about raising money to support the operation of the club.

“It’s a time we celebrate the kids, celebrate the partners in the community and just all the great work that our kids are doing and all the great support we’ve been getting over the years,” said Reggie Carter, a former unit director of the Suffolk club and currently the club service director.

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In between sets by the Island Boy Band, several of the club’s 100 or so members got to present to the crowd. One recited the mission statement of the club, one read a poem and another group presented a dance number.

“I think it’s just very fun to see people come out and support the kids,” said unit director Keith Robinson.

Suffolk Unit board co-chair Leroy Bennett said this was the first year for the VIP tent, which was sponsored by Treasurer Ron Williams’ United Way Golf Tournament.

“We are so happy that Ron Williams stepped up to the plate, and we are hoping to get more sponsors like Ron,” Bennett said. He also added that chicken wings were a welcome addition to the food offerings this year, and they were served up by Buffalo Wild Wings, a national sponsor of the Boys & Girls Clubs.

The other Suffolk Unit board co-chair, Phil McPhail, said the oyster roast has helped get the word out about the club itself.

“By having done this over the years, we have created a much broader knowledge base of who the Boys & Girls Club are and what we stand for and what it means for the children,” he said. “It’s help put us on the map. Before, most people didn’t know there was a Boys & Girls Club in Suffolk.”

All of the money raised at the event stays in Suffolk, the organizers said. The fundraising goal was $20,000.

Lee and Teresa Trump said they live nearby and have come to the event before in support of the club.

“It’s a good event,” Lee Trump said.

Denise Kahan and Brenda Ricks also came out to support the event, they said. Ricks works for LW’s Lawn Service, which was a sponsor of the event.

Robinson said he hoped the event would encourage people to come volunteer or mentor at the club or support it in other ways.

“The kids love having people come in and seeing the good things they’re doing and showing they love, support and care about them,” he said.