Regions’ Boys and Girls Clubs supported by movie theater fundraiser

By: Jonathan Shead | Troy Times | Published July 16, 2021

 Emagine movie theaters across southeast Michigan are accepting donations for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan through July.

Emagine movie theaters across southeast Michigan are accepting donations for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan through July.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 A sign at Emagine movie theater in Royal Oak promotes the theater chain’s fundraising campaign.

A sign at Emagine movie theater in Royal Oak promotes the theater chain’s fundraising campaign.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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TROY — Cinephiles and moviegoers across southeast Michigan now have the chance to donate to support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan throughout July when they see a movie at an Emagine theater in the region.

The fundraiser, hosted by Troy-headquartered Emagine Entertainment, asks theater visitors to make donations at the theater that will help fund the annual membership costs for youth to participate at any one of the 11 Boys and Girls Clubs in the region.

“This is something we have done our second year in a row to help raise money for at-risk youth and give them a place to really better themselves,” Emagine Entertainment CEO Anthony LaVerde said. “It’s really a great place for these kids to go after school. It’s a safe place. It’s a high-quality development program.”

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan serve, on average, 15,000 youth between ages 6 and 18 annually. LaVerde’s goal is to raise $10,000 for the clubs.

“We’re off to a great start. We’re certainly in the thousands of dollars raised thus far. We always appreciate the generosity of our guests and we’re excited to see where it ends up,” he said.

LaVerde, who sits as an active member of the BGCSM’s board of directors, was inspired to start the campaign with the hope to provide more students with access to the after-school programs and “real life experience” he feels the kids get by going there.

“I think it gives these kids an opportunity to branch out from typical education,” he said, adding that BGCSM offers an esports lounge, a music studio funded by Detroit-based rapper Big Sean, and a clothing store where kids can learn every aspect of the business. “It’s really an extension of education, and I love being a part of it. I think they’re really making a difference in these kids’ lives.”

The funds donated to the BGCSM will allow the clubs to support students in the fullest capacity, BGCSM President and CEO Shawn Wilson said.

“BGCSM continues to provide the youth of southeastern Michigan with a safe, positive and engaging environment with a variety of programs and opportunities that allow our young people to feel included, challenged and entertained all year long,” Wilson said in a press release. “Emagine Theatres has been a longtime champion of BGCSM youth, and the funds raised will help us care for and engage our youth to our fullest abilities.”

Wilson could not be reached for further comment by press time. For more information, visit emagineentertainment.com.

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