From watching thousands of rubber duckies float in the waters to raise money for Advocates for Children to eating a heaping pile of pancakes to raise money for the Kiwanis Club of Dalton to dancing on stage to raise money for United Way of Gordon County, big fundraisers draw us in and remind us that it is time to give.
The Community Foundation is a proud partner and advocate for the hundreds of nonprofit organizations and churches that tirelessly serve the individuals and families of Northwest Georgia. To commemorate our twenty-year history of advancing local philanthropy, we are posting special reflections for twenty weeks. Today, we present twenty of our favorite charitable events.
1. Duck Derby — It's a really quacky concept that benefits Advocates for Children in Bartow County. To win the Grand Prize (thousands of dollars), donors adopt a duck (from $5 to $250). Each duck adopted is released into a lake for the big Duck Derby. The ducks float along and Quacky and his friends pull the winners from the water as they go. The first duck to be pulled from the water wins the grand prize.
2. Baxter Dean Runway Show — For years, business partners Andy Baxter and Hanna Dean (with the help of local businesses like Gentry Construction) put on a runway show and production showcasing local high school student models. Thousands of dollars are raised and donated to a specific local charitable cause each year.
3. United Way of Northwest Georgia Kickoff Block Party and Trike Race—hundreds of people gather to celebrate the official kickoff of the campaign season, watch CEOs and teams from local businesses race on souped-up tricycles, and see the current year’s campaign goal revealed to the public.
4. Evening of Love and Laughter — In February, Prevent Child Abuse Gordon invites the community to enjoy An Evening of Love and Laughter — an elegant affair held at the Harris Arts Center featuring entertainment, auctions, door prizes, a raffle, food and fun.
5. Spring for the Arts — The Creative Arts Guild presents “Spring For The Arts” in March at The Farm. The event includes a delicious lunch, an Artisan Market and Raffle, and a fabulous Fashion Show.
6. Pond and Garden Tour of Bartow County — Because everyone loves a beautiful garden, the Magnolia Garden Club hosts a tour of private ponds and gardens to raise money for Horticulture Scholarships and Junior Garden Club projects at area schools.
7. Kiwanis of Dalton Pancake Day —the Dalton Club's major fundraising project is usually held the first Saturday in November under the big tent on Dalton Green. Since 1960, thousands of guests take part in Kiwanis Pancake Day by enjoying all-you-care-to-eat pancakes and sausage.
8. United Way of Gordon County Unity Run — For almost 25 years, the Unity Run (offering a 5K run/walk and a children’s 1K) has marked the official start to the United Way of Gordon County Fund Raising Campaign. Only Calhoun’s Dancing with the Stars raises more funds for the local 18 partner agencies.
9. Roman Open Golf Tournament— a large-scale fundraising golf tournament held in Dalton that benefits nonprofit organizations operating in Whitfield and Murray counties. In 2017, the tournament raised $86,500, distributed to forty local charities, two memorial scholarships to Dalton State College, and eight merit scholarships to Georgia Northwestern Technical College.
10. Relay for Life of Gordon County — the walk is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and is held in many counties across America. In Calhoun, the relay is staffed and coordinated by volunteers of Gordon County and sponsored by local companies.
11. Dalton Tour of Homes — In December, the Northwest Georgia Crisis Center launches their annual Tour of Homes where ticket holders walk inside some of the showpieces of Dalton and enjoy elegant food items. Proceeds help victims of domestic violence.
12. Dancing with the Stars Events — Dalton, Calhoun, and Cartersville all host entertaining Dancing with the Stars type events. In Dalton, proceeds of the community dancing extravaganza support The Alzheimer’s Association. In Cartersville, the proceeds help support Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter. In Calhoun, funds raised by the dancers and the community go to help United Way of Gordon County.
13. Toast of the Town — a fundraiser held at The Farm that honors a member of the Whitfield County community each year. Proceeds of the event benefit Family Support Council’s programs that focus on supporting families and preventing child abuse.
14. Calhoun-Gordon Community Foundation Golf Ball Drop — in 2006, our Calhoun affiliate got the community’s attention by hosting a golf ball drop to raise funds to build up their community endowment. They’ve since awarded over $620,000 to local nonprofits and charities.
15. The Purse Auction — In Bartow County, it’s all about the bag! The Etowah Scholarship Foundation hosts an annual charity event promising a fun-filled ladies night out with live and silent auction items, raffles, music, and fellowship.
16. Festival of Trees — the Harris Arts Center in Calhoun invites the community to decorate and donate Christmas trees and put them on display during the month of November at the Harris Arts Center. The trees are auctioned off and the proceeds help the HAC fulfill their mission. There are also other Festival of Tree events in Northwest Georgia, as well.
17. Tour of Adairsville’s Society Hill Historic District — a fundraiser for Bartow County’s Etowah Valley Historical Society and Sans Souci Women’s Club. For a small donation, six spectacular Victorian homes in historic Adairsville are open for touring groups in early November.
18. Celebrity Spelling Bee — a hilarious fundraiser where prominent members of the community compete in a traditional spelling bee to raise funds for the Whitfield County School System.
19. Love Light Tree — Benefiting Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton, Love Lights offer a unique way to honor or memorialize a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker, or beloved pet during the holiday season. As each gift is made to the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation, a light is added to the Holiday trees at Hamilton Medical Center.
20. Woodsongs Dalton Concerts — a concert series featuring an eclectic mix of professional musicians who play to raise funds for the DEO Clinic in Dalton, a nonprofit organization that provides free compassionate and competent care for needy patients who have limited financial resources and no insurance.
Thank you for being part of the Foundation’s history. Please help us share our story by sharing our posts with others. And as always, if we can be of service to you, your family, or your company, please contact us at (706) 275-9117.