Girls on the Run of Union County is gearing up for its first-ever Sneaker Soiree, a unique fundraising event taking place on March 1st from 7pm to 10pm at The Bottle Factory Venue in Monroe. This evening has a twist: supporters and attendees dress up in cocktail attire and sneakers! It’s a night of dinner, drinks and dancing, as well as a live and silent auction to benefit the Girls on the Run of Union County financial assistance program which offers the opportunity for all girls to participate in their life-changing programs, regardless of financial situation.
GOTR of Union County supports 1,200 3rd-8th grade girls in the county annually through its 10-week curriculum-based after school program. The motivational program inspires girls to achieve their best through discussions, activities, running games, community service projects and celebratory 5Ks. Through these research-based activities, girls learn how to navigate challenges, build friendships, believe in themselves, and appreciate the lifetime importance of physical and emotional fitness.
The highly-anticipated Sneaker Soiree will raise funds to ensure any girl who wants to participate will not be turned away due to financial circumstances. “We provide approximately $40,000 in scholarships every year to Union County girls who want to participate in the program but may not have the means to do so,” says Lani Koontz, Program Coordinator of GOTR of Union County. “We have high hopes that we will continue to meet the increasing need for scholarships into 2019 and beyond, thanks to the community awareness and funds we raise through various efforts, including our inaugural Sneaker Soiree.”
To reach their goals, GOTR of Union County is seeking Sneaker Soiree sponsorships or in-kind donations for the live and silent auctions and wine pull. Sponsorships range from $250 for a Station Sponsor to $2,500 for a Platinum Sponsor, each level providing various sponsorship benefits and measurable community impact. For example, a Platinum-level Sponsor supports a full team at a Title 1 school.
Only 200 tickets will be sold for the Sneaker Soiree, which will feature guest speaker and Girls on the Run founder, Molly Barker. Barker started GOTR in Charlotte in 1996, with just 13 girls. Today, the organization has served more than one million girls and has more than 200 individual councils in every U.S. state and internationally, including the Union Country organization, which began in 2005. Each Council is its own 501c(3) organization and provides its own funding and budgets.
Atrium Health has been a strong coporate supporter of GOTR of Union County since 2005 as a Program Sponsor. “We’re grateful for our community partners who support us with their investment in Girls on the Run,” says Koontz.
“Every single penny goes towards the girls in our programs,” says Jill Reed Buwalda, Committee Chair for Sneaker Soiree and a member of GOTR Union County Board of Directors. “That is our passion! It’s why we do what we do and why we are bringing this exciting event to our county.”
To purchase tickets for the Sneaker Soiree, visit girlsontherununion.org/News. To become a Sneaker Soiree sponsor, email Kellen@girlsontherununion.org. To provide in-kind donations for the evening event, email Lani@girlsontherununion.org