An outpouring of support locally and nationally brings the holiday spirit to Club families
As a result of an idea Lindsey Forsten of Profecta Marketing and Tyler Ross of Ross Real Estate came up with last year, the duo again inspired a holiday event known as the North Pole Celebration for the members of the Boys & Girls Club of Fauquier and a few particular families in need. Lindsey applied for a Holiday Magic grant from the Path Foundation for the Club to purchase hoodies for Club members. The hoodies were ordered through the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines work force development program, BGCShirts, in Marshall, Texas. Bill Beene from the Club in Big Pines did an amazing job accomplishing the custom order requested to meet the pre-determined deadline. He kept the lines of communication open making for a very smooth process.
All was well…printed, boxed and ready for shipping. Once at the local shipping office Mr. Beene received terrible news – it was going to cost $1700.00 to get out packages to Fauquier in time for the big North Pole event here in Warrenton—far more than the grant amount to pay for the gifts and three times the expected rate. The lady at the shipping office said there was just no way with the holiday being so close they could ship for any less. So off the boxes went back to the Club at Big Pines.
After many chats with the Club in Texas, Fauquier Unit Director Ginger O’Brien said “there were jokes about sending the packages by plane or train. We looked at every logical possibility, even driving and meeting half way between Virginia and Texas!” As the conversations ensued, the Club at Big Pines was getting ready for their big annual Youth of The Year event. While at this event, Brian Partee, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Big Pines, mentioned the dilemma to some of the guests. One of the ladies in attendance mentioned it to her husband, Chief of Police of Waskom, Texas. The Chief said he would make a few phone calls and try to rally some outside assistance.
Before the event was even over the Police Chief contacted his friend, Cary Gee, a pilot of United Airways. A true miracle….Mr. Gee was not only flying out Sunday, December 17, but it was to Virginia via Reagan National! If the Club at Big Pines could get the hoodies to Houston, he would pack them as his own luggage and deliver them to Virginia.
The team at the Club of Big Pines drove two hours on Saturday the 16th from Marshall to Houston to meet Mr. Gee. He boarded the next day from Houston with gifts for the members of the Club in Fauquier. Ginger O’Brien, Unit Director at the Club in Fauquier met Mr. Gee at Reagan National Airport for pickup after numerous delays due to the Atlanta power outage.
“It was a crazy adventure,” Big Pines CEO Bryan Partee said. “Clubs supporting one another is the norm. I have been amazed by the support received by colleagues across the region,” Fauquier CEO Lynne Bell added, “when it comes to the kids and communities we serve, Clubs across the state and country work together. It’s just what we do. ”