There’s still time to buy a seat to attend the Boys & Girls Club of Lewis County’s annual fundraiser breakfast, The Most Important Meal of the Year.
The event, which will be located at Jester Auto Museum and Event Center Wednesday, will start at 7:30 a.m. and wrap up about an hour later, in time for attendees to get to work.
The seats cost $25 each, and Lauren Day, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Lewis County, said the event is the largest fundraiser the club has each year.
The event was canceled due to the pandemic shutdowns in March 2020 and was only held virtually last year, so Day said she is excited to bring the festivities back to an in-person event for 2022.
“Guests basically will come, they’ll get their coffee and take their seats,” Day said. “We’ll have some kids say some words, and then a few other speakers.”
The biscuits and gravy breakfast will be provided by Crowded Kitchen Catering Company, with coffee from Lewis County Coffee Company. There will also be baked goods and an egg scramble.
“It’s really just an event focused on our mission and what we do,” Day said, adding later: “Our mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”
The club meets these goals by offering kids a safe place to be during out-of-school hours while their parents are at work, offering kids mentorship from professional adults, recreation opportunities, and leadership programs.
The club also gives kids the opportunity to work on its priority outcomes, which are “academic success, healthy lifestyles, good character and citizenship,” Day said.
For academic success, the club gives time for kids to work on homework and receive tutoring. There are also enrichment activities the kids can participate in like science and art projects.
For healthy lifestyles, the club offers lessons in the kitchen, where kids learn about nutrition and healthy food choices. There are also physical recreation activities offered where kids play games like kickball and basketball.
In the realm of good character and citizenship, kids are taught how to be a good friend, how to make good choices when faced with negative peer pressure and how to get involved in the community. The club often provides kids with the opportunities to volunteer in the community, though such events have recently been curtailed due to the pandemic.
The club opens after school ends each day, and is also open all day for days that school is closed and for partial days when schools are on early release.
There’s the historic location in Chehalis on Jackson Highway, but the club was able to offer a second location with COVID relief funds at Jefferson Lincoln Elementary School in Centralia, which opened during the pandemic. Now with both locations running, kids in Chehalis and Centralia have a safe place to go after school, Day said.
After being closed down for a week at the start of the pandemic, the club opened both locations all day for kids in the community until school resumed for full-time, in-person instruction this September.
Tickets for the breakfast can be purchased at https://www.bgcchehalis.org/.
“Donations cover 80% of our cost to operate,” Day said. “In order to allow the club to be accessible to everyone, we really try to make sure finances are never a barrier to the club. So we really run and operate based on community support. So if you’re not able to make the event, you can still go online … and donate.”