The children of the Boys & Girls Club took a field trip July 1st to thank a very important partner. Strack and Van Til, a familiar face in the community, has organized many fundraisers for the Club. This month, B&G will be the beneficiary of Stracks’ Checkout Challenge Campaign.
Throughout the entire month of July, customers at the supermarket will be able to round their checkout total to the next dollar amount. The spare change will help the Boys & Girls Club fund programs, projects and scholarships.
A fundraiser like this allows the people to vote on what organizations they think merit their attention and financial assistance. Chris Bengston, a Vice President for Strack and Van Til, said this is not their first Checkout Challenge and they hope to reach $40,000 by August.
That number includes other participating stores all over Porter and Lake Counties.
Two of the stores had kickoff events on the first of July: the Calumet location in Valparaiso, and a second Strack and Van Til in Hammond. Kids at the Club created holiday recipe cards to hand out like thank you notes to the people of their towns. They stood vigilant at the doors of Strack and Van Til to make sure every patron got one.
They had instructions for Ice Cream Cake, Nutella Truffles, and Oreo Spirit Balls, to name a few.
“We thought we’d show off what we do at the club, and teaching healthy lifestyles is part of that,” said Director of Resource Development Alison Martin. While most of the recipes were desserts, Martin explained that is an exception for the Fourth of July, not a rule. “We have programs that teach nutrition. This was more or less an appreciation of Straks for doing this for us.”
“It’s a partnership with us and the Boys & Girls Club,” said Ashleigh Marlow, Stracks’ Public Relations and Centralized Orientation Specialist. “They’re encouraging people to come so it’s good for our business, plus it is helping them raise money for their organization.”
Bengston said, “Our goal in this is not necessarily to impact our business, but to get involved with the community.”
Ryan Smiley, President of the Porter County Boys & Girls Club, felt that, “The most important thing for us is the awareness for the Club and the programs we offer kids of all ages. The impact we have as a whole impacts the entire community. Our Good Character and Citizenship programs are helping kids in our community be that much better.”
The kids gave up their much cherished Club time to be at the Checkout Challenge Kick-Off. Scott Bradney, 10, said, “I think it’s fun, and I think it’s worth it so we can raise money and get more things for the club.”
The efforts of the Boys & Girls Club to keep children safe, respectful, and learning is a community issue that well deserves the attention that Stracks is shining on them.
“We have a long history of support for the Boys & Girls Club,” said Bengston, “It’s important right now, during summer, because there are kids who don’t have a place to go. It’s a safe, fun, and educational place to spend their summer. We’re supporting what is really a family value.”