BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Big Buddy Program hosted their 26th annual Burger Bash Scholarship Fundraiser on February 16, 2016. And for the 26th year in a row, Catholic High
School served as the venue.
A ten dollar donation allowed attendees to enjoy a meal complete with a burger and all the fixin's, chips, ice cream, and a soft drink. The burgers were grilled by the Catholic High Men's Club and served by the Catholic High key Club.
The Big Buddy Burger Bash is the main fundraiser for their scholarship program which was established in 1990 to award deserving Little Buddies of the program with financial support as they pursued post high school education. One hundred percent of funds raised at the Burger Bash go directly to support the scholarship recipients. Over the past 26 years, more than 50 scholarships have been awarded to Little Buddies in need of financial assistance as they attend various colleges and universities.
One such recipient is August Kelly.
"I started off in Big Buddy in elementary school," August tells WAFB. "I've been connected with Big Buddy ever since. Ms. Gay actually talked to me again with the scholarship program and ever since then I've pretty much been a part of it."
August was referring to Big Buddy Executive Director Gaylynne Mack, otherwise known as Ms. Gay.
"They give a positive impact for the children to keep 'em out of the streets," August explains. "Everything about the Big Buddy Program is positive."
August was recently awarded the Big Buddy Scholarship which, she says, helped her buy text books.
"August now owns her own business," Gaylynn Mack proudly explains. "A cleaning service. It just goes to show what a little bit of support can do."
So August thought what better time than during the actual 2016 Burger Bash fundraiser to recognize Ms. Gay and the Big Buddy Program with WAFB's Hand It On gift.
"I would like to nominate Ms. Gay for Hand It On," August told the crowd as she approached Gaylynne during the program. "Ms. Gay has been a positive impact to all the kids in the Big Buddy program, including myself," August continued, "and I wanna say thank you and keep being a positive influence for the kids."
August then handed $300 to a quite surprised Gaylynne Mack.
"And it's come full circle," Gaylynne composed herself enough to tell the applauding crowd. "August was involved with Big Buddy since elementary school. Now a scholarship recipient and college graduate who owns her own business," Gaylynne concluded.
Full circle indeed.
Get involved. Become a mentor to a Little Buddy. Or support the scholarship program and other efforts of the Big Buddy Program through with a financial gift.
Get more information about Big Buddy online at "BigBuddyProgram.org".
And to nominate someone for Hand It On, send an e-mail to HandItOn@WAFB.com. Make sure to include all your contact information especially your phone number.