Guest blog provided by the Boys & Girls Club of Central Arkansas
The Connection is the Junior Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arkansas.
Comprised of more than 20 young professionals with a variety of work experiences, ages, races and nationalities, The Connection brings together some of Central Arkansas’ most talented civic leaders for one specific cause: to support the Boys & Girls Clubs through volunteerism, fundraising and awareness.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arkansas has six locations in the Central Arkansas area and serves over 10,000 young people, ages 6 to 18. The Connection members understand the impact that a safe, encouraging environment during formative years can have on a child or teen. We are committed to positively changing the future of our community by helping to break the cycle of violence and poverty that exists with many children in the Central Arkansas area.
“Being able to give back to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arkansas has had a profound impact on my life,” says Chad Brown, a member of the Club’s Board of Directors. “I have had the opportunity to meet kids who directly attribute their success to attending and being supported by the Clubs. It is a humbling experience to know that I may play a small part in that.”
Mardi Gras in Arkansas
This is Mardi Gras in Arkansas’ 7th year, with each year getting better than the last. We chose a theme that presented the fun and jubilance that is embodied by the kids at our Clubs. We have a great band, Goose, tons of beads and masks, complimentary drinks and a photo booth to document it all.
“Mardi Gras is a fantastic party because it is just that: a party!” Chad says. “And being able to party for a cause as worthy as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Arkansas takes it to the next level.”
One-on-One with Lakisha Harris
Lakisha is a member the Connection, the Junior Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Arkansas, and co-chairman of this year’s Mardi Gras in Arkansas.
IA: What’s rewarding about being with The Connection?
Lakisha Harris: Being a part of the Junior Board of Directors has allowed me to see how big of an impact the Clubs make in our lives, as well as the kids’. Not only do we raise money, but we have also have opportunities to work directly with them. I have also gotten to experience the kindness from people such as The Bailey Family Foundation, Capital Title, Metro Disaster Specialists, Williams Chiropractic and The Circumference Group, just to name some of our biggest sponsors of this event.
IA: What do you enjoy about Mardi Gras in Arkansas?
LH: It allows everyone to ‘let their hair down’ for a good cause. We try to bring Bourbon Street to the event with beads as soon as you come in, along with masks and some of the New Orleans atmosphere.
IA: Why is the Boys & Girls Club important to our community?
LH: It is a worthwhile organization to support because, as Whitney Houston stated, ‘….the children are our future. Teach them well, and let them lead the way.’ The children are our tomorrow, and we must show them how to be leaders in our community as well as the nation.
Photography by Drew Cason Photography