Dinner Dance brings nonprofit supporters together

Published 8:20 pm Monday, November 5, 2018

More than 200 guests from a variety of professions gathered at the Washington Yacht & Country Club for a singular purpose on Oct. 27 — offering support to the Inner Banks STEM Center as the organization held its annual dinner-dance fundraiser.

Attendees enjoyed dinner courtesy of the WYCC staff, as well as live music from the Main Event Band. WITN’s Dave Jordan served as emcee of the event.

During the event, IBX STEM Center President Al Powell spoke about the STEM mission/career orientation focus that the IBX STEM will conduct.

“This expanded mission will include all of the previous STEM mission objectives that BCPAL embraced,” Powell wrote in an email. “However, our expanded STEM mission will incorporate a youth workforce preparedness initiative with improved collaboration with local businesses and industry.”

Among the organizations mentioned as partners in this endeavor are the Little Washington Sailing School, Boys & Girls Club of the Coastal Plains, Beaufort County Schools, Beaufort County Community College, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, City of Washington Parks and Recreation and United Way of Beaufort County.

Among the newest organizations to partner with the IBX STEM Center are the Aurora Fossil Museum and A Time for Science.

Perhaps the highlight of the program, seven students who had experienced programs at the center shared their own experiences, allowing attendees to hear firsthand how the center has benefited local youth.

“The student comments allowed the audience to evaluate for themselves the impact our program is having on some of the youth that attend our program,” Powell wrote.

Formerly known as the Beaufort County Police Activities League, the IBX STEM Center changed its name to match its mission in August. With a goal of exposing young people to STEM, as well as harboring workforce development in Beaufort County, the STEM Center hosts a steady stream of events throughout the year.

In the near future, a new health risk assessment program will begin at the Center, thanks to a community health grant from Vidant Beaufort Hospital and collaborative partnerships with the BCCC Allied School of Health Science and the Beaufort County Health department.

“The objective of this new program will be to proactively identify youth in our programs that are at-risk to develop health issues like diabetes, obesity, cardio-vascular issues and inactivity patterns and advise their parents/legal guardians of this risks,” Powell wrote of the new program.

In April, the organization, in collaboration with STEM-Corps East and a number of local school systems, hosted its inaugural STEM Expo, bringing more than 500 students to Washington Warren Airport. While there, they connected with approximately 45 organizations.



“The Washington Yacht & Country Club did a remarkable job in being able to host this event after sustaining significant damage from Hurricane Florence,” Powell said. “It is truly a miracle that they were able to host our event and another event the same evening and not cancel our events. Their effects will not be forgotten and reflects the highest level of community spirit.”

IBX STEM Center is a nonprofit organization funded by several grants, including the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, as well as community support. Payroll contributions via Beaufort County United Way help sustain the program, and volunteers are always welcome. For more information, call Powell at 609-412-9743. For financial donations, contact Melissa Jarvis at First Bank in Washington at 252-946-4171.