In the sum of $650, the donation came from a company picnic Vista Metals recently hosted. Facilities Manager Larry Pratt said the company’s Momentum Group decided to put up a dunk tank and take $1 for each person’s shot. All told, the effort brought in $150 that was then augmented with a $500 donation from the company itself.
“We’re out in the community and we saw at that time that would be the best place to put it,” Pratt said of the donation. “It was the consensus of the Momentum Group here at Vista that we donate it to the Boys & Girls Club. ... We decided that they were the best cause at the time we did it.”
Vista Metal’s donation comes along with United Community Bank’s ongoing sponsorship of the Adairsville club. In addition to a $500 donation of its own, UCB will be assisting the club with its Cartersville Century Bike Ride and summer feeding program.
“We try to get as many employees involved as possible. We are a bank, and we do need to run a bank office, so I will say that generally we have a select group that do man the rest stop for the bike ride each year,” said Kim Kown with UCB. “I’m generally, primarily, the one who does the run for the food if it works out that I can get away and get the food taken. As far as any other opportunities we have, like I said, as many employees as we can offer. We try to get people to participate in the program.”
Receiving the volunteers from UCB and the donation from Vista Metals is the kind of involvement the Boys & Girls Club of Bartow County is looking for, said Chief Professional Officer Gordon Gilley.
“It’s great. It’s the start of what we think is almost, hopefully, a groundswell of support in the Adairsville area, because it does go toward club operations, which will — that and the combined support of UCB will buy arts and crafts supplies for the year. That’s how we look at things, is all of this is combined together. Now ... the dialogue has started, particularly in north Bartow. The sky’s the limit,” Gilley said.
During the spring, summer and other school holidays, the club’s hours double, Gilley explained. Normally from 2 to 7 p.m. when school is in session, the clubs are now open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Costs associated with running the club essentially double as well, Gilley continued, which makes corporate support all the more important.
“[Vista Metals has] done it in the past, they have, so this is continued support,” Gilley said of the donation. “UCB has been a constant since day one. They give not only financially, but also they staff and host a rest stop for our big bike ride coming up. They transport a lot of our lunches during the summer — our meals. So really it’s great to see Vista again and honestly, we take a lot of comfort in UCB’s continued support.”
Both Pratt and Kown cited their companies’ interest in staying involved with the Adairsville community as the reason for their contributions.
“We’ll continue to do things like this,” Pratt said. “It might be for different causes. It might be for the same concern that we did with the Boys & Girls Club, but what we’re going to do is support the community.”
“You know, it helps the kids, it helps the community,” Kown said. “My opinion is that you can’t give enough to the future and the kids are our future. ... We just love to make sure that we give back to our community and help the kids because they’re what’s important. It’s a passion, I think.”