Boys & Girls clubs need votes to win grant

Published 7:41 pm Monday, August 21, 2017

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain is in the running for a grant from State Farm this week.

The State Farm Neighborhood Assist program has selected the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain as one of its finalists. The organization now has the chance to win a $25,000 grant — to be used at each of the seven counties in its coverage area, including Beaufort County.

Out of 2,000 applications, State Farm selected the top 200 organizations to be on the ballot. Residents can vote for an organization online until Saturday, and the organizations within the top 40 votes will be awarded $25,000, according to Theresa Gilmore, chief development officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain.

“Before the weekend, we were in the 90s. We bumped up into the 70s as of this morning,” Gilmore said.

She said the organization is one of nine North Carolina groups on the list.

“We’re thrilled. It’s exciting. … There’s a lot of positive energy going on right now,” Gilmore said.

This is the first time Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain has been selected as a finalist for this competition, Gilmore said. She said everyone at the club is thankful for the opportunity and hopeful that votes will place it in the top 40.

“Even if we don’t win, it’s exciting to see all the staff and volunteers get excited about ways they can support the kids,” Gilmore said.

If awarded, Gilmore said the funds would go toward a three-pronged, research-based area for each club — academic success, healthy lifestyles and good character and citizenship.

Gilmore said it’s not only exciting to be a part of this completion, but also to just see the outpouring support from the community for the Boys & Girls Clubs. She said she’s received texts, emails and calls from people all over the seven-county area who have expressed their support.

“I think that’s the beauty of it — it’s not just a competition we’re doing for the kids. Most of the people that are voting don’t know the kids and will never meet them,” Gilmore said.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain has until Saturday to rally enough votes. Voters can vote up to 10 times per day. On Sept. 28, State Farm will announce the winners.

Voters should go online to to cast their votes.