The Franklin Community Center, Rebuilding Together Saratoga County and the Adult and Senior Center of Saratoga have teamed up to throw a collaborative fundraising event, featuring over 1,500 Brooks House of BBQ dinners.
“Each one of our organizations is just small enough that we probably would not have been able to take this on,” said Franklin Community Center’s executive director, Kari Cushing. “We could all use a boost, and we all work together in some capacity already, so we’re excited to share the collective support from the community.”
For the Franklin Community Center, proceeds from this event will help keep the shelves of their food pantry stocked, allow them to keep their free store up and running and help support their afterschool program, Project Lift.
“Our community is so lucky to have dozens of worthy nonprofits,” said Bo Goliber, the community center’s coordinator of development and volunteers. “And with the economy these days, we're all constantly brainstorming ways to stay ahead of the game.”
This type of cooperation is an easy way for smaller organizations with less manpower and capital to bring in additional funding during what have been especially difficult times, and teamwork is something these three agencies know a lot about.
“I have always supported collaborations,” said Lois Celeste, the executive director of the senior center. “Rebuilding Together came in and painted the center, and our neighbors at Franklin Community Center do such great work for the West Side Community- what great partners! Our hope is to have community members support not just one not-for-profit agency, but three.”
For these organizations, community support is essential right now, as the summer months tend to be busy for all three, but the donation numbers taper off. For Rebuilding Together Saratoga County (RTSC), who has multiple seasonal projects underway, the fundraiser is particularly important.
“We’d love to see this event be a success,” said Michelle Larkin, RTSC’s executive director. “[Proceeds] will buy building materials for projects we are working on this summer.”
Without community support, some of the valuable services that these organizations provide could be cut, or even worse, eliminated.
“It is important for agencies like ours to exist because we offer a sense of hope and comfort for people who don't know where else to go,” said Goliber. “This fundraiser will show people that we're all working hard to make sure we can continue serving the people who need us, even in the midst of a downturned economy.”
Tickets are on sale now for the collaborative Brooks BBQ fundraiser. Each organization has 500 presale tickets to sell that will be available for purchase until Friday, July 20, and only a limited number of dinners will be available for sale the day of the event. Tickets can be purchased at all three agencies: Franklin Community Center, 10 Franklin St., Saratoga Springs; The Saratoga Springs Senior Center, 5 Williams St., Saratoga Springs; and Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, 267 Ballard Rd., Wilton. The proceeds from the event will be split evenly between the organizations, and they’re hoping to sell well over 1,500 tickets!
The dinner will take place Tuesday, July 24, at the Saratoga Springs Senior Center, from 4-7 p.m., with dine in and pick-up orders placed until 6:30. Volunteers representing all three organizations will be rolling up their sleeves and helping to make sure the event runs smoothly. The event is rain or shine, and guests can eat on-site or carry-out.
Two delicious meal options will be available, both of the BBQ variety. Chicken dinners will be sold for $10 and rib dinners for $12. All dinners include a baked potato, cole slaw and dinner roll. Additional items like beverages, desserts and Brooks BBQ sauces will also be available for purchase separately.
Have a lot of mouths to feed but can’t make it down to the senior center? Bulk orders can be placed and delivered to locations such as large housing sites, fire stations, office buildings and medical facilities.
"Some of our board members and supporters have even purchased BBQ tickets for us to give to individuals and families in-need,” said Goliber. “It's another great opportunity to give back in a practical way.”