Stars shine bright for Bryant youth

By Blake Welch

Photos by Charlie Hunnicutt and Shontel Scott 

Almost $15,000 was raised for the Bryant Boys and Girls Club at the inaugural Starlight Gala, presented by[more] Landers of Benton and organized by the Bryant Rotary Club.

Miss Arkansas Kristen Glover attended the Starlight Gala to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Bryant. Glover has visited the organization’s After-School Program and shared with teen members the importance of making positive choices in their lives. (PHOTO BY Charlie Hunnicutt)“We could not be more pleased with and grateful to our community for the overwhelming support at this event,” said Suzanne Passmore, executive director of the Bryant Boys and Girls Club. “Landers of Benton, Bryant Rotary and so many others went above and beyond to make this a successful event to benefit our kids.”

Approximately 250 guests attended the black-tie affair at Bishop Park, where the gymnasium was transformed into a winter wonderland December 3. A catered dinner was provided with live music by Penguin Dilemma, Tom Baxley of Baxley Penfield Moudy Realtors served as master of ceremonies and a silent auction featured such items as weekend getaways on the White River, muck boots, Kindle Fires, an HDTV and a black and white diamond necklace, valued at $3,000, donated by Baker’s Fine Jewelry in Bryant.

“The entire night was just absolutely beautiful,” said Pat Baker, owner of the Bryant jewelry store. “It was truly a privilege to offer one of our nicest pieces of jewelry for such a wonderful cause.”

Bryant Mayor Jill Dabbs and Dr. Melanie Spann greet one another at the Starlight Gala, held at Bishop Park, a charity event to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Bryant. (PHOTO BY Shontel Stott)

Guests arrived to a red-carpet entrance and were greeted by photographers who captured the evening’s excitement. City, county and state officials, community leaders, parents, volunteers and others enjoyed the evening supporting the Club including Miss Arkansas Kristen Glover.

“I believe the Boys and Girls Club effectively mentors and impacts the youth of Bryant,” Glover said. “It is powerful to see the community recognize the Boys and Girls Club’s influence and support their service.”

Founded as the Bryant Youth Association, the organization received its charter from the National Boys and Girls Club of America in 2005. The Club has served more than 4,000 Bryant youth since joining the national organization and continues offering a safe environment for children.

“Boys and Girls Clubs are a safe place for kids to come to learn and have fun after school and in the summer,” Passmore said. “This is where great futures begin.”

EChris and Dr. Adele Holmes attended the Starlight Gala to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Bryant. Chris Holmes from International Business Machines (IBM) and Dr. Holmes of Central Arkansas Pediatrics Clinic are long-time supporters of the organization. (PHOTO BY Charlie Hunnicutt)vent sponsors and organizers are already working on next year’s Starlight Gala, set for Dec. 1, 2012, with hopes of it becoming the premiere charity event in Bryant every year.

“This event shows our community is committed to investing in our children’s futures and we hope to make next year’s gala even bigger,” said presenting sponsor Rodney Plack of Landers of Benton. “Being associated with the Boys and Girls Club of Bryant continues to be a blessing for me and for the Landers family of employees.”

Curtis and Beverly Morrow of McDonalds restaurants make their way to the Starlight Gala, held at Bishop Park. Beverly Morrow has recently been named to the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Bryant. (PHOTO BY Shontel Stott)Dean and Barbara Riggin of Iberia Bank stop for a photo on the red carpet at the Starlight Gala at Bishop Park. (PHOTO BY Shontel Stott)

Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Ken Casady, with wife Stephanie, was one of many local government officials who turned out to support the Boys and Girls Club of Bryant at the Starlight Gala. (PHOTO BY Charlie Hunnicutt)

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