'Big Gig' Brings Out Big Names to Raise Money for Local Boys and Girls Clubs

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March 22, 2014

The Boys and Girls club is known around the country as a safe haven for kids.

That stays true for more than 1,400 members here in Central Virginia.

The Clubs provide all sorts of programs and activities for kids and that can come at a cost.

There is a small membership fee but for the most part the Clubs of Central Virginia have to come up with the extra money to provide those programs on their own.

Big names from all over Central Virginia came together Saturday night to raise big money.

One of those big names, Howie Long, former NFL player and current FOX Sports analyst, has strong ties to the clubs.

"Growing up in the city of Boston, raised by a few different relatives kind of a latchkey kid in the city; Boys Club was kind of a safe refuge," said Long.

The night featured a star-studded silent auction with items donated by former NFL player Michael Strahan, professional basketball player Jason Collins, Howie Long and his sons Chris and Kyle.

It's important to have such attention and wallet grabbing items, in fact, the Clubs' success depend on it.

"We've never said no to a kid based on the fact that they can't afford our membership. There is a $35 membership fee but we find a way to get them in. It costs about $1,500 to serve one young person for the whole year. Events like this and philanthropy and other things that we do help to make up that gap," said James Pierce, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Virginia.

20% of the nearly $1 million operating budget raised in just one night.

A big gig indeed, impacting the lives of over 1,400 kids annually.

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