Hosted this year by Florida Gators Coach Jim and Karen McElwain, the annual Scramble for Kids event raised an incredible $160,000 to help children in Gainesville, a sum more than three times the proceeds from 2015. The three benefitting charities — Children’s Home Society of Florida, Girl’s Place, Inc. and the Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County — will each receive $45,000 to aid in their support of local children.
The sizeable increase in proceeds this year can be attributed to the McElwains’ extraordinary efforts to gain new sponsors, according to Franklin Lentz, the tournament chairperson. The duo’s hands-on involvement in their first year as hosts helped to create an energetic, fun atmosphere for the over 450 participants. Scott Monnett, president and chief professional officer for the Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County, a national non-profit organization that helps children grow in confidence, self-esteem and success, echoed Lentz’s sentiments.
“Coach Mac and Karen have helped out tremendously,” Monnett said.
Monnett also stressed the importance of the money raised at the event, which will help to fund the numerous youth programs provided by the Boys & Girls Club, including scholarships and afterschool programs.
“Anything that we can do for the youth of our community is special,” Monnett added.
Jennifer Anchors, executive director of the mid-Florida region of Children’s Home Society, expressed her gratitude towards the many volunteers who make the Scramble possible. Children’s Home Society offers services that include counseling, early education and care, connections to local resources and helping families reach their potential.
“We really want to thank the volunteers who pick up the legwork that make this event successful each and every year,” she said. “It allows the community to educate themselves about our charities that benefit children within our communities.”
Girl’s Place, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering girls, is expecting about 20 more girls to join its program this upcoming year, according to Executive Director Janna Magette. Some of the money raised from the Scramble will go toward some much-needed supplies due to the increase of girls, she said.