Dream Big Gala Past Chair Spotlight w. Richard Watkins

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.

How did you become involved in the Dream Big Charity Gala and are you still currently involved and how? I first became involved with the Dream Big Charity Gala back in 2011 when a good friend of mine, Jordan Greer, invited me to help. I have remained involved in varying capacities ever since. I current serve as a board member for the Children’s Safety Center.

What is your favorite gala memory? My favorite part of each Dream Big Gala is watching months and months of hard work and preparation all come together. It is truly remarkable what this committee is able to pull off with generous donations of so many in our community. We have some of the best volunteers and staff members anywhere around!

What is your worst gala memory or a funny story about something that happened or went wrong? When I chaired the event in 2014 we decided that year to try a “live auction” for the first time ever. We were all really nervous about it, but decided that a golden-doodle puppy and a diamond necklace would certainly be a success. Several months before the event we secured one of the best auctioneers in the region to help us during the event. On the day of the event we found out that the auctioneer was sick and wasn’t going to be able to make it- we were faced with a hug dilemma. We had a live puppy and a diamond necklace that needed to be auctioned off! Fortunately “Dream Big” attracts a diverse crowd of attendees with talents galore, and after running around the event asking we found another auctioneer who gladly offered to help. The live auction was a success!

Why is it important to see the gala grow and be successful? Dream big is one of the most important revenue generators that the Children’s Safety Center has. Prior to joining the board I knew that the CSC operated on a lean budget, but once I started digging into the numbers I realized how truly lean it is. The CSC receives no guaranteed grants or federal/state funding, and depends greatly on the contributions of individuals and companies in our local community. Every dollar raised stays here locally and helps offset the ~$1,600 cost of services each child receives. In order to continue providing these free services (forensic, medical, advocacy & therapy) at the current growth rate, we need your help now more than ever.

If you had to give three words to describe the Dream Big Gala, what would they be?

  • FUN!
  • KIDS (You are directly helping a lot of Kids in NWA!)
  • VALUE (You get a lot for your ticket when you attend this Gala!)

Why is the CSC important to YOU? I feel it is my duty to give back, and the Children’s Safety Center (CSC) has been a place where I feel that I can help make a difference in our local community. Far too many children in our area are impacted by physical/sexual abuse, and I hope that by volunteering I am able to help make even the slightest impact to better these children’s lives.

Click HERE for more information about the CSC Dream Big Charity Gala

Richard & Jordan Watkins at the 2014 Dream Big Charity Gala