Donning their best attire, attendees of the third annual Big Hats & Bow Ties Affair will raise money for a literacy project to help children.
The July 25 event will be hosted by the Second Calvary Center for Development, a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve leadership, social, educational and economic conditions in Charlotte’s Oakview Terrace neighborhood.
In 2008, church members joined the pastor in making a difference in the community so the church can have a greater effect on residents.
Since then, SC3D has implemented the youth literacy initiatives with the Story and a Snack program from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and the Homework Center from 6-8 p.m. Thursdays.
For now, these programs are held at the Arbor Glen Outreach Center on Clanton Road, but the organization is seeking a permanent location.
Money from this year’s Big Hats & Bow Ties Affair will go toward the purchase of iMac computers for a computer lab; the goal is to raise $5,000.
Michelle Mitchell, SC3D board member and program volunteer, said the nonprofit organization is trying to enhance the literacy program already in place by adding a computer room in which students can learn more about technology.
As a volunteer, Mitchell said, she sees changes in students by the end of the program. She sees the progress in their schoolwork, she said, and their frame of mind is more positive.
Mitchell said the event is starting to catch on, and more people are attending each year, both to support the organization and for networking and business promotion.
“We’re getting the word out there, and people seem to be interested in the cause,” she said. “This event is for everybody, the young and the old, to come together. We strive to help the kids.”
SC3D is in need of volunteers, Mitchell said, and with more volunteers come opportunities to help more children.
“We really want to give back to kids. We want them to have a fair opportunity in life. We need to reach them early,” Mitchell said.
“You want to see them learn and get involved and dream. You want to help make their dreams come true.”
Kenneth Elmore, an SC3D board member and volunteer, works with students on math and computers. He said he welcomes the opportunity to teach students about different operating systems and how to build and maintain a computer at home.
Elmore said the money raised from this event helps the group’s emphasis on literacy projects for youth in Charlotte and helps implement a love for learning.
“If you catch them at an early age, you build a solid foundation,” he said. “Once you do that, the sky’s the limit.”
The event, in which attendees are invited to dress in their Sunday best, will include a presentation by the N.C. 2014 Teacher of the Year, James Ford of Charlotte.
There also will be a silent auction, book donation and door prizes.
Rachel Daniels is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Rachel? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to go?
The third annual Big Hats & Bow Ties Affair will be 4-6 p.m. July 25 at UNC Charlotte Center City Campus, 320 E. Ninth St. Tickets are $30; $35 at the door; $25 seniors.
▪ To get involved in SC3D, contact Rovina Westbrook at 704-562-8033.