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Issue of September 24, 2014
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Boys & Girls Club begins major fundraising push


August 20, 2014 | 09:11 AM

The next few months will be busy for the Boys & Girls Club of Harrison-Crawford Counties, as the organization has several events planned, beginning this weekend with a demolition derby, not only to raise funds, but community awareness.

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Kim Grizzel, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Harrison-Crawford Counties, looks over several of the items that have been donated for the organization's online auction, which will be held Sept. 19 through Oct. 21, at beckortauctions.com. Photo by Chris Adams
"We're really excited about it," executive director Kim Grizzel said about the demolition derby.

The annual event, which has a new organizer, Cory Crecelius, who has brought fresh ideas, including a class for children, will be Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Crawford County 4-H Community Park south of Marengo.

The Power Wheels Class will feature two age groups — ages 3 through 5 and 6 through 10 — with everybody receiving a trophy. The cost to enter is $10.

Grizzel said Crecelius has narrowed the event to just one class for cars, which has allowed for a larger payout. The Smash-It Class will feature cash prizes of $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place.

In addition, there will be a lawnmower event, which will have prizes of $250 for first place, $125 for second place and $75 for third place.

There also will be a Mad Dog Award, similar to a crowd favorite, in that it may not go to the winning driver but the one with the most impressive showing.

Admission will be $8 for adults and $5 for children younger than 12.

The event was scheduled for this past spring, but it was canceled because of rain.

Formerly known as the CARES Demolition Derby, the event changed its name after the CARES program in Crawford County joined with the Boys & Girls Club of Harrison County.

While the CARES brand is no more, Grizzel, who for years served as its executive director before taking her new position when the programs merged, said the program is stronger. It continues to have sites at all five Crawford County elementary schools, as well as Crawford County Junior-Senior High School.

"It was necessary, and it makes us both stronger," Grizzel said. "Both counties are stronger because of that."

Not only did it help shore up the finances of both organizations, but it brought new programming to Crawford County youth, from the Keystone Club, which provides leadership development experience to teenagers ages 14 to 18, to Torch, a small-group leadership and service club for ages 11 to 13, as well as several others.

The Harrison County side of the program, through Grizzel, gained an executive director known for her strong fundraising efforts while in charge of the CARES program.

Besides the ongoing annual EXTRAVAGANZA Fundraiser — where all Crawford County students, from preschool through grade 6, sell food items, with those selling at least 20 items rewarded with a limousine ride and pizza party — all of the upcoming fundraisers will benefit the entire program.

On Saturday, Aug. 30, the organization will host a yard sale at its Harrison County site at the Gerdon Youth Center, located at 600 E. Chestnut St. in Corydon.

"We have been cleaning out our building, and we have a lot of items we are getting rid of," Grizzel said.

The sale will begin at 8 a.m., with large items, such as desks and bookshelves, being priced and smaller ones available for a donation.

Persons who would like to donate items for the yard sale may call the Harrison County site at 812-738-1696 to arrange a drop-off time.

The organization also is getting ready for a large online auction that will feature a variety of donated items, from a youth bow from Gun World & Archery Pro Shop to dinner for two at Legends at Horseshoe Southern Indiana along with a night's stay in the casino hotel.

"We have tons of items," Grizzel said. "I would say 75-plus items for the online auction have been donated from businesses and individuals in Harrison and Crawford counties."

The auction, which also will include homemade quilt toppers and a $100 gift card from Mulzer Crushed Stone, will take place at beckortauctions.com beginning Sept. 19 and continuing through Oct. 21.

In addition, the Boys & Girls Club will embark on a capital campaign in the upcoming days.

"To my knowledge, we have not ran a capital campaign in years from here," Grizzel said.

Letters will be sent to those who have expressed interest in the organization in the past during the last week in August.

"We're going to start slow with our capital campaign," Grizzel said. "We want people to realize there's a need. It's more about education."

Additional events planned this fall include a Zombie Run on Oct. 18 at the Crawford County Junior-Senior High School cross country course and possibly a haunted house at the Gerdon Youth Center on Oct. 24, 25 and 31 and Nov. 1.

The Zombie Run will feature three categories: walk, fun run with children and timed for more serious runners. Participants will wear flags as they try to avoid "zombies" as they maneuver their way through the course.

"The zombies are going to try to pull your flags," Grizzel said, adding those who get through the run with their flags will get a medal saying they survived the Zombie Run.

The cost to register for the Zombie Run is $20 by Oct. 3 and $25 after that date. The cost for persons who would like to be zombies is $10, if they need their makeup done, or $5, if they do their own makeup.

Volunteer makeup artists are needed, as are donations and volunteers for the haunted house. Persons interested should call the Boys & Girls Club.

Later in the year, the organization will sell homemade candy at the Holiday Gift Show at the Crawford County 4-H Community Park and will host the New Year's Live lock-in for members.

Next spring, the organization hopes to host a student-led Boy & Girls Club Grand Prix bicycle race. Intern Wyatt Jackson, who is spearheading the project, said the 100-lap race will feature teams of eight riding tandem bikes, with 16 teams on the track at a time.

By having the students lead it, Jackson said, they will get a feel for event planning and marketing.

Grizzel said that persons interested in volunteering at any of the events or in general should call the Boys & Girls Club or visit its new website, which was designed by Jackson, at www.hc-bgc.org.

Twitter: @CN_cadams

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