Just give back is a motto we should probably all use in our day to day lives. However, this is a motto that our community took to a whole new level! Our niece Mallory and a few other folks formed a committee with the hopes of raising money to do just that. One of our local community members and my former high school basketball coach, suffered a stroke earlier this year. For years, Coach was there for several of us girls as we made our way up and down the courts. But he wasn’t just our Coach, he was also a coach for the entire community. He has headed the 4 U Charities in my hometown for years as well, raising funds to give back to the school’s sports programs and activities. He also runs the local tavern, where he hosts the 4 U Charities Auction every year. Coach’s stroke was significant, and he has a long road of recovery ahead. The time finally came for the community to give back to him and boy did they ever!
Planning and coordinating started taking place and eventually the JGB, Just Give Back Block Party was formed. Uncle John brought our flatbed semi-trailer to town and parked it at the beginning of the block where it would host bands and the benefit auction. There were drink stations setup throughout the block, food trucks, picnic tables, etc. Our Senior Center opened their doors and hosted the clerking station and the silent auction. Essentially, it also became the headquarters.
People came in droves from not only my hometown but also many surrounding towns. When I say they came by the bus loads, I truly mean it! So many other bars were willing to donate a part of their profits to the cause as well. The weather was beautiful and the entire night went off without a hitch.
I’ve never been more proud of where I’m from and the people we surround ourselves with. It was truly an amazing experience and small town USA is where it all happens.