OXFORD – Mardi Gras festivities begin a few days early in Granville County this year when a local venue transforms into a New Orleans-style party spot.
The inaugural Mardi Gras Bash, set for Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, is a fundraiser to benefit the Granville Unit of the Boys and Girls Club. Event organizers, most of them members of the local club’s advisory committee, say they expect this to become an annual “signature” event for the community.
“We are excited for the community and for the club,” said Irene Nichols, a member of the planning committee. “When you step through those doors, you’re going to feel like you are right down on Bourbon Street,” she said.
The fundraiser will be held at Thorndale Oaks in Oxford. “Thorndale Oaks is such a beautiful spot,” said Jackie Sergent, another committee member. “We are delighted to be able to have our event there,” Sergent said. Thorndale’s chef has created a New Orleans-inspired menu for the occasion. The event is from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., with special recognitions and other activities during the evening. Music will be provided by DJ Jay.
Boys and Girls Club members are creating and decorating Mardi Gras masks for the occasion, which will be available for purchase at the event. Local artist Linda Edwards will lead a workshop at the club to help the children create the masks in colorful Mardi Gras fashion.
The local club is in its fourth year of operation in Oxford. It is part of the North Central North Carolina region, which operates clubs in Granville, Vance, Franklin, Warren and Halifax counties. Each local club has an advisory committee which is responsible for local fundraising annually. The club began at Mary Potter Middle School, but soon needed extra space. Elementary school-aged club members spent part of the afternoons at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Then the BGCNCNC accepted building space, formerly used by Santa Fe Natural Tobacco. The club officially moved to its new spot in summer 2016.
“This is what true community collaboration is all about,” said Laura Gabel, a local advisory committee member. “We got help from the schools and from a local church when we needed it most,” she said. Advisory committee Chairman Xavier Wortham agrees. “This community identified a need for a Boys and Girls Club,” he said, “and now we need to make sure that this community continues to support everything that the club provides.”
Tickets are $50 a person and are available in downtown Oxford at Stovall’s Gifts, Java Dave’s Cafe, Harvest restaurant and The Purple Bird. Tickets also are available from BGC advisory committee members and online at bgcncnc.com.
For more information, contact Resource Development Director Mary Ann Avery at the BGC corporate office, 919.690.0036.
Mary Ann Avery
Resource Development Director
BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF NORTH CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA