The Fauquier community came together to support the children of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fauquier with a magical Christmas experience.
On the night of December 19, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fauquier was transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with elves, piles of presents, Santa’s workshop, and the Jolly Old Elf himself. All of this began with a small seed of an idea, set in motion last year when Tyler Ross of Ross Real Estate and Lindsey Forsten of Profecta Marketing partnered together with one mission in mind: To bring the community together to create holiday magic for local children.
Last year’s first annual Holiday Magic event was well received, with a grand entrance on a pickup playing Christmas music that delivered Santa (played by Mike Reeves), a bag of toys, a catered dinner and playtime in the Boys & Girls Club gym with brand new sports equipment donations.
This year, the duo wanted to increase the community’s involvement, and decided to create a North Pole experience at the Boys & Girls Club of Fauquier with Christmas gifts, donations, games and a feeling of magic. They were unsure what kind of response they would get when they put the word out that they needed the community’s help for the Holiday Magic event—but the inquiries, donations and helping hands flooded in.
A gift registry was set up on Amazon with wish list items provided by the Boys & Girls Club that included games, toys and learning tools. Shortly after the list was released into the community via social media, a local organization called the Ladies of Gratitude reached out. They had selected the Holiday Magic event as a recipient of a quarterly nonprofit award, buying every item on the Amazon registry with a $3,100 donation.
With the help of business communications coordinator Jennifer Goldman of Resonance, GumDrop Square donated their Christmas props to build an authentic-feeling North Pole.
The Warrenton Trustees lent a hand by setting up Christmas trees and Santa’s throne on the day of the event.
The Fauquier Community Theatre donated the remaining Christmas supplies that helped the North Pole come alive in the gym.
Drum and Strum donated a sound system for the night so the children could listen to music.
Local videographer Levi Magyar and his wife Christina, a photographer, donated their services to capture the event.
The Highland School’s soccer teams came to the club on the morning of the event to help set up.
The Warrenton Fire Department offered to play a role in Santa’s grand entrance by escorting him on their fire truck, and members of the Sheriff’s Department and Warrenton Police Department volunteered as elves for the event.
Within a week of announcing their intentions with the Holiday Magic event, the PATH Foundation awarded the Boys & Girls Club a $2,000 grant. The money was used to purchase a Boys & Girls Club sweatshirt for every child, to be gifted at the event and opened on Christmas morning.
These funds also went toward small gifts for each child to purchase for a loved one for Christmas using “Club Bucks,” the club’s rewards-based system that supports their mission to “be great” through words and actions.
Here, the story takes a magical turn of surreal proportions. The sweatshirts, ordered through Boys & Girls Club of the Big Pines in Texas, hit a snag—in order to get the shipment to Virginia in time, it was going to cost $1,700 in shipping fees. Upon learning of the dilemma, Big Pines CEO Brian Partee mentioned the situation to some of the guests at the Texas club’s annual Youth of The Year event, and the information was quickly passed along to the chief of police of Marshall, Texas.
The chief immediately contacted friend and United Airways pilot Cary Gee, who happened to be flying out of Houston to Regan National Airport in Virginia on Sunday, December 17—two days before the Holiday Magic event. If the club at Big Pines could get the hoodies to Houston, Captain Gee promised to pack them as his own luggage and deliver them to Virginia.
That Saturday, the team at Big Pines drove two hours to deposit the shipment of sweatshirts in Houston with Captain Gee, who flew them into Reagan the next day. Ginger O’Brien, Unit Director at the Club in Fauquier, was there to retrieve them. Thanks to the effort put forth by so many kind strangers, the children had their sweatshirts in time for the Holiday Magic event.
Meanwhile, one of the families at the club had recently suffered a terrible tragedy. After learning about the family’s predicament, Forsten and Ross reached out to the community again to garner support for the family. They were met with more kindness.
One of the family’s needs was a new car. Chick’s Services owner Dale Edwards serviced their old one (free of charge) and determined that it needed to be replaced, and soon an anonymous donor gave the family a used van.
Then the supplies started flooding in—coats, clothing, shoes, pots and pans and other kitchen supplies, toiletries, food, Christmas toys and monetary donations filled an SUV, which was delivered to the family on Wednesday.
“There is something special about our town,” says Forsten, who grew up in Warrenton. “It was amazing to watch the community grow this into a life of its own. That’s what this is all about—the community coming together.”
“I wasn’t surprised to see the community mobilize the way it did,” says Ross. “That’s what Warrenton has been and continues to be all about. When you live here, you’re family, and families step up for each other. We’re a place that looks within itself for strength. Knowing that, Lindsey and I have some ambitious ideas for the future. We hope to engage the entire community—we want every business, every person, to be a part of it.”
About Profecta Marketing: Founded in 2016 in Warrenton, Virginia, Profecta Marketing is an agency serving the marketing needs of small to medium-sized businesses in the region. With a background in integrated marketing and an emphasis on digital strategy, Profecta Marketing services include: email marketing; web metrics and reporting; videography and photography; events; branding; content creation; social media management and advertising; digital and print ad creation; search engine optimization; and web development. To learn more, call (540) 724-6347 or visit www.profectamarketing.co
About Ross Real Estate: Ross Real Estate is a full-service real estate brokerage for both residential and commercial clients. Ross Real Estate’s principal broker, Tyler Ross, was born and raised in Warrenton, VA. His local knowledge and extended network offer great advantage to those working in Fauquier County and the surrounding areas. With successful transactions in land, new construction, shopping centers, homes and more, Ross Real Estate finds the right fit for every client. To learn more, call (540) 351-0922 or visit www.rossva.com.