Concord responds big to fundraiser that helps restaurants, Boys and Girls Club

  • Michael Staton, center, a counselor at the Concord Boys & Girls Club, tosses a ball in the air while playing with some of the after school kids in the brand new gym at the organization's Bradley Street location on Monday afternoon, January 14, 2014. This was the first time this group of kids played in the renovated gym, which saw a make over in the way of new bleachers, new basketball hoops, a new scoreboard and improved lighting. Andrea Morales

  • Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Concord man their table at the 2019 Taste of N.H. This year’s event was online. Monitor file

Monitor staff
Published: 6/25/2020 5:00:34 PM

In the midst of a pandemic, it’s no surprise that local businesses and nonprofits have been severely impacted over the past few months.

However, the Concord community leaped at the chance to help both by buying gift cards and participating in an online auction during the annual Taste of N.H. fundraiser last week.

Tanya Frost, event coordinator for Taste of N.H. and the Boys & Girls Club of Central N.H., said the community showed up – virtually – like never before.

“I’m a born and raised Concord girl, and it’s just nice to know that, you know, I can be proud of where I live,” Frost said.

Frost was hoping to raise from $20,000 to $25,000 for Concord restaurants. “We ended up raising $100,000 for them,” she said.

On top of supporting restaurants, Frost reflected on the heart of Taste of N.H.: raising money for the Boys & Girls Club.

About $45,000 will go to the Boys and Girls Club.

“It’s one of our highest years” for both restaurant and Club donations, Frost said.

Although many could attribute this success to the adaptability of Taste of N.H. organizers, Frost thinks it’s a reflection on the heart of the community. Without sponsors and the media, “it would have just been our Facebook posts and our word of mouth. And so, thanks to you guys, we were able to really spread the word,” Frost said.

Frost said people from neighboring states bought gift cards and made donations.

“I had people calling me from out of state who were going to be visiting and hoped to get their gift cards so they can use them while they were here,” she said. Without the work of the entire community, Frost said Taste of N.H. wouldn’t have been such a resounding success.

Frost and her colleagues wanted to continue this spirit of giving when using the funds raised for the Boys & Girls Club at Taste of N.H. Not only is the Club still providing childcare, but they have opened up to help feed the community.

“[We] haven’t stopped serving meals. … We are serving, at four different locations of ours, meals every night from 4 to 5:30 p.m. [Monday through Friday]. And we’ve opened it up to anyone in need. So, it’s not just our members, as we have done in the past. It’s whomever could use a hot meal,” Frost said.

By opening up the Boys & Girls Club up to everyone, Frost feels that they can better give back to the community. Everyone has been impacted by COVID-19, and Frost wanted the club to alleviate the stress of the pandemic for anyone who needs it.

The Boys & Girls Club was heavily impacted by the pandemic at first. Shutting its doors completely, organizers like Frost applied for grants and loans to keep their doors open.

The Charities Aid Foundation of America found that most nonprofit organizations, like the Boys & Girls Club, have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Frost, however, doesn’t consider the club to have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. That, she said, is completely due to the generosity of the community.

“We just we couldn’t be happier,” to know that the community has got our back, Frost said.

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