When original dancers of what would eventually become the Roanoke Valley Shag Club began meeting in North Myrtle Beach in 1989, no one anticipated a group boasting over 170 members–or a group that would be making a measurable impact on the community. But over 20 years later, the oldest and largest shag club in the Roanoke Valley may not still be at the beach, but they’re still making waves.
At the group’s annual Silent Auction on March 12, 2012, the Shag Club raised $9,000, all of which they donated to the Community Christmas Store of the Roanoke Valley. The group held a check presentation ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
“We’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do,” said Roanoke Valley Shag Club president Jim Tate. “We like to give back to the community.”
Members of the club were joined by representatives from the Community Christmas Store for the check presentation during their weekly meeting at Billy’s Barn in Salem on Tuesday.
“We try to get $60,000 annually,” said Kristine Bronnenkant of the Community Christmas Store budget. So $9,000 goes a long way, she said. “It’s one of the largest cash donations we’ve received… We haven’t had to turn down any families to this point.”
The organization serves around 600 families throughout the Roanoke Valley each year, according to Bronnenkant. And folks in the area are more than happy to help the Community Christmas Store.
“When they [potential silent auction donors] found out it was for the Community Christmas Store, everyone was willing to donate,” said Margaret Whitlock, a Roanoke Valley Shag Club member and one of the main coordinators of the silent auction. The club secured items like two tickets on Southwest Airlines, three trips for two to the Caribbean, prints from local big-name artists like Eric Fitzpatrick and P. Buckley Moss and much more.
“This was a six-month process,” Whitlock continued. “It shows that the Shag Club loves the organization that much that we’d put that much time into it.”
The club has donated proceeds from the silent auction to the Community Christmas Store for the past three years, according to Bronnenkant.