From the Bel Air Downtown Alliance:
The Bel Air Downtown Alliance is pleased to announce that they will be partnering with the RAACE (Race Against Abuse of Children Everywhere) Foundation at the 2010 MD State BBQ Bash on Friday, August 13th, 4pm-10pm and Saturday, August 14th, 12pm-10pm at the Mary E. Risteau State Office Building Parking Lot on the corner of Bond and Thomas Streets. The RAACE Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Forest Hill, MD, is dedicated to eliminating the epidemic of child sexual abuse by raising public awareness.
“Ken [Smith] and Brad [Brickel] approached us several months ago and wanted to explore the idea of being involved with this year’s MD State BBQ Bash,” reports Bel Air Downtown Alliance Executive Director, Scott T. Walker. “After meeting with Ken and Brad to discuss their thoughts, it was clear to me that RAACE would be a perfect fit for the MD State BBQ Bash,” he continued. Mr. Walker went on to explain that with the RAACE Foundation’s close ties to the motorcycle and racing community, there was a clear demographic crossover between their marketing efforts and those of the Bel Air Downtown Alliance. Additionally, many of the sponsors involved with the RAACE Foundation had expressed an interest in being involved with the MD State BBQ Bash. “This was the perfect opportunity for our two organizations to combine efforts in raising funds to support both of our missions,” Mr. Walker added.
The Bel Air Downtown Alliance and RAACE Foundation partnership will be bringing something very new and exciting to the MD State BBQ Bash – TeamRAACE “Time to Talk Awareness Station”. This giant wheel (22 feet tall and over 18 feet wide) is a massive spinning gaming wheel reminiscent of something found on the Ocean City Boardwalk. The “Time to Talk Awareness Station” is covered with pie pieces that represents the sponsors. For a small fee, participants place their bets on the wheel to win money and prizes. According to RAACE Foundation Founder Ken Smith, “Listening to Director of Development Brad Brickel bark the commands of the wheel and engage the crowd standing around watching, you can tell that everyone within ear shot is having a lot of fun!” Raising awareness and educating people about the abuse of children epidemic is the RAACE Foundation’s mission and the “Time to Talk Awareness Station” is playing a critical role in making that mission a reality. Why “Time to Talk”? With 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys being sexually abused before the age of 18, and with more than 39 million survivors, experts agree that open and honest dialogue is the greatest weapon to combat child sexual abuse.
Mr. Walker added, “We cannot wait to see this wheel rise out of the ground at The Bash. It is going to be amazing!” He went on to report that the Bel Air Downtown Alliance is very excited about this opportunity to work together with another local non-profit.
Mr. Walker had this to say about the new partnership, “The Bel Air Downtown Alliance’s mission is to create a vibrant business community and visitor friendly destination in Downtown Bel Air. We work towards achieving our mission through our membership program. As of July 31st, we have more than 160 businesses listed as members from in and around the Downtown Bel Air community. However, I think we all know that there are a great number of non-profits in our community too. We have actively sought out many of those non-profits to create partnerships. To survive and be financially viable in our current economy, strong relationships are important. The chance for us to work with RAACE allows both of our organizations to share a common message – to succeed, we need the support of our community. RAACE needs the community to boldly look in the face of child sexual abuse and confront it at every opportunity through awareness and education. We need the community to recognize that the survival of thriving downtown depends on their support in time, effort, and talent.”