Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Utah has played an important role in making sure local children and families have had their needs met, offering meals for families, tutoring and mentoring for kids, and childcare for essential workers, among other services.
For the last 12 years, the local nonprofit has held an annual dinner and auction that has been a critical source of revenue to fund its various programs. The pandemic forced the cancellation of that event this year, so the club is hoping people will show up and support it in a slightly different, more socially distanced way this Saturday in Brigham City.
Club staff and volunteers have organized a “Backyard Bash” event starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at the club’s Brigham City location, 641 E. 200 North. Attendees, spaced out safely on blankets reserved ahead of time in an outdoor park setting, will be treated to a picnic dinner, auction and live music.
Jenny Schulze, the club’s chief operations officer, said this year’s event will be on a smaller scale than in previous years, but the club is still relying on the community to come out and support its efforts while having some summer fun.
“We want to keep people healthy, but we still need to bring in money for the club and the kids,” Schulze said.
Admission to the Backyard Bash is $100 for a family of four to reserve a blanket. The club is asking that only members of the same family occupy each blanket for safety purposes.
Ever since classes were halted at public schools statewide in March, the club has been delivering meals to children, including those who were home alone while their parents were at work, as well as to families that lack transportation or have just needed some help. The club has provided and delivered about 17,000 meals, in large part due to the support of sponsors including Nucor Steel, Post Consumer Brands, Northrop Grumman and Walmart.
The club has also continued to provide tutoring, mentoring and emotional support, working with more than 150 area youth, contacting them weekly, checking in with parents and families, and helping connect them with various programs and resources.
The club has spent more than 1,000 hours tutoring youth online, working with teachers and counselors to help them finish coursework and pass their classes. It also delivered pizza and soda to 64 families to celebrate their success in keeping up with schoolwork, and effort that has been sponsored by Swire Coca-Cola.
While these are functions the club has had all along and before the pandemic, it has also adapted to the new challenges by providing childcare for essential workers. Club centers have been adapted for daycare purposes to serve kids aged zero to 12 whose parents work in health care or emergency services. The club is currently serving more than 20 kids Monday through Friday and some Saturdays, and has been working to expand the service to more essential workers through the summer.
To reserve a blanket for Saturday’s event, or to learn more about the club’s services and programs and how to support the club, visit. www.bcbrclub.org