The calendar is slowly approaching the months of November and December. Many think about holiday parties, family gatherings and traditions that have been passed down generation upon generation. Numerous families and businesses participate in a time honored tradition of giving. Several of us have participated in a collection of money for charities, food drives for the local pantries, or toy collections for needy kids. Unfortunately, the holiday season is not the only time they need our help. They need it on a daily basis. This is where community initiatives step up and help fill that void in the holiday season.
The Gwinnett Gladiators have developed a strong presence within the community. They work with numerous charities to raise money for their causes and develop in-game programs such as the jersey auction and teddy bear toss. Specific programs were created like SLAP Shots Program for schools, Hat Trick for Reading Program, and Light the Lamp, where money is raised for North Metro Atlanta Area charities every time a Gladiator scores a goal during the season. With the addition of the arena football team, the Georgia Force, to our arena, we expect the same community presence that the Gladiators have shown for the past five years.
Along with the Gladiators and the Force in our community, The Gwinnett Center has also developed a community initiative. Our initiative is to make a difference in the lives of others through numerous programs designed to raise money for charities in our community, to provide access to numerous events within the facilities of The Gwinnett Center, and to celebrate individuals who sacrifice time, effort and money to make their community a little better.
In August, we partnered with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and The Brand Banking Company to raise awareness and funds for the Foster Children”s Foundation, here in Duluth. Prior to one of the scheduled circus shows, we held a V.I.P. Circus Party in our Club Lounge. We offered a circus-themed buffet, a private "Meet and Greet" with the circus performers, tickets to that night”s performance, and an exclusive encounter with the star of the show, the elephant. Over one hundred people attended the festivity, which raised over $3,200 for the Foster Children”s Foundation.
The next night, we hosted a few of the foster families in one of our private party suites. The families enjoyed snacks and a circus performance that they all will remember. Many foster families don”t get to do those types of things and to the surprise of many of us, some kids were watching a live event for the first time. At the end of the night, the smiles on the children”s faces spoke volumes.
I would like to personally thank Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and The Brand Banking Company for making these two events a success for the Foster Children”s Foundation.
We must remember that as a community, lives are dependent on our time and contribution everyday, just not during the holiday season. The Gwinnett Gladiators, the Georgia Force and The Gwinnett Center are proud to be a part of this community. We have made the commitment to a community initiative, and we hope you do the same.