As we near the 10th anniversary of our Dream Big Charity Gala, we are taking a look back and asking some of our past chairmen about their experience, favorite moments, and why they stay involved.
When were you first involved in the Dream Big Charity Gala? I started working on the committee back in 2013 with the Marketing Committee. It was such a great group, and we primarily were helping spread the word about the event and also the importance of the Children’s Safety Center.
How did you become involved? I attended the gala in 2012 thanks to an invite from my friend Ben Cowell, and after hearing info on the CSC that night, I knew I wanted to help!! I went on a tour of the CSC a few months later with the Leadership Fayetteville group and after asking questions that day found my way to the committee.
What is your favorite gala memory? Without a doubt, every year that I have been a part of the gala the best moment happens the day of the event. Everyone meets up in an empty room at the Fayetteville Town Center, and over the course of several hours, you watch an amazing transformation take place. What was once empty space is filled with lights, tables, decorations, dance floors and that all happens with the selfless service of amazing committee members!!
What is your worst gala memory or a funny story about something that happened or went wrong? Dream Big is such a fantastic gala for a great cause I can honestly say that I have never had an experience that you could classify as the worst memory. One year at the event, we had an alcohol vendor show up, and the kegs they brought did not match the equipment provided by the venue. So in full panic mode, as the event is kicking off and people are coming into the event, we worked through this and improvised some stuff to make the kegs work. These type of moments happen all the time, and with so many great volunteers running around the guests never even notice but anytime you play MacGyver in a suit, it is certainly something that will cause a laugh.
Why is it important to see the gala grow and be successful? The importance of the event growing each year is twofold. The first part is that the money raised from this one night goes a long way to providing services for children in Washington County who are victims of abuse. The second part is education about what the Children’s Safety Center offers Washington County and the epidemic of abuse happening in our backyard. I think about my first year attending the event and not even knowing the CSC existed, then fast forward to years later, and I cannot imagine where we would be without it.
How important is the CSC to our community? Anytime I get the chance to talk about the CSC my message remains the same. I one day hope there is no reason to have this center because that means we will have found a way to solve the child abuse issue. The reality is that every year the number of cases seems to increase which means we have to continue to find ways to raise more money since the organization is purely a non-profit organization. The CSC is vital to our community because it helps children that live right here in Washington County, all of the money raised for the CSC stays right here in our community and helps out children in our county!!!
Why should people attend this year’s gala, 10th anniversary? This is truly the “Greatest Gala of the Summer” and the money stays to help out in our community. I can promise you that if you attend once, then you will definitely want to attend again. Dream Big is a fun filled night that helps out for a very real cause right here in our community.
Purchase tickets HERE
Matt Bumgarner with Mayor Jordan and Jamie Davis