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Oyster Roast goes virtual

The 11th annual BBQ and Oyster Roast for the Suffolk Unit of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia will be virtual this year.

Due to gathering restrictions, folks cannot gather at Constant’s Wharf like past years to eat, listen to live music and help raise money for the Boys and Girls Clubs. This year, the event will be online on Oct. 3.

“COVID has allowed for unique ideas to come about, and I believe this is one of them,” said Lakeila Powell, Suffolk Club Advisory Board and BBQ & Oyster Roast Co-Chair.

The silent auction will start on Oct. 1. This auction will provide a chance for folks to look through the auctioned items and to place bids.

“There will be an opportunity to make a donation for people who don’t find anything they want to bid on,” said Powell. “This is a chance for us to pull together as a community and across the country to help us reach our goal.”

According to Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia Resource Development Coordinator, Rebecca Myers, the virtual event’s goal is to raise a needed $20,000 for the Suffolk Club.

“This event will be similar if not better than our past events,” said Myers. “This year, location doesn’t matter since it’s virtual. Anyone from anywhere can help by donating.”

During Oct. 3, pictures from previous events will be shown while the silent auction is taking place. That is also when the Island Boy Band will do a live, virtual performance.

“Folks who may not attend the in-person event because it’s not their thing can take this opportunity to support the organization and bid,” said Andrew Owen, Suffolk Club Advisory Board and BBQ & Oyster Roast Co-Chair. “There’s also now some flexibility with time.”

Even though school is not in session in person, the Boys and Girls Club is still doing all it can to help kids and families in need during this pandemic.

“It’s an unusual time for a lot of kids, as they are learning virtually for the first time and need all the resources available they may not have access to,” said Owen.

“It’s very important that we make sure that when we do come out of COVID, we can open up safely, and we have everything ready for them to come back,” added Powell.

The virtual BBQ and Oyster Roast will be online at tinyurl.com/oyster11.

“I think with the pandemic, it is going to make a lot of fundraising events have to pivot to figure out how to keep it interesting and raise money,” said Myers. “I am confident this will be a success.”