Tom Reep, Cheri Bazley, and Suzanne Nosworthy of the Ronald McDonald House accepting their donation from John Morris.
It’s amazing how thousands of people coming together for one night can make a huge, life-changing impact on hundreds of less fortunate residents. Let me explain.
On July 3, thousands of Long Beach residents gathered around Alamitos Bay to listen, watch, “ooh,” and “ahh” during the Big Bang on the Bay. This patriotic celebration, commemorating America’s independence with lights and sounds, rang out loud and painted the Long Beach sky with fireworks for about 30 minutes.
For the thousands of East Long Beach families who had the opportunity to see this event, it was a night to remember. However, like most of the fun, celebratory, community events John Morris (owner of Boathouse on the Bay) has put on over the years, this one also had a charitable cause.
The event, put on by Boathouse on the Bay, catered by Naples Rib Company, and sponsored by hundreds of local businesses, organizations, and residents surrounding Alamitos Bay, raised over $100,000 for local charities. The proceeds were handed out in person by John Morris at the Boathouse this Wednesday to four ecstatic and thankful local charities.
Children Today was the title sponsor for the second year in a row and received $78,000 to go towards their general operations. Executive director Tonya Burns praised the impact this donation has had on their cause over the past two years.
John Morris, Tonya Burns, and Theresa Bixby of Children Today.
Children Today provides child care and development services to hundreds of young children experiencing homelessness and welfare trauma. Centered in Long Beach, this organization is part of the COC (Continuum of Care) in Long Beach, a group of nonprofits dedicated to helping solve the homelessness issue within the city.
Theresa Bixby, co-founder of Children Today, helped organize the event and has played a major role in bringing awareness to the good work being done by Children Today. For her, the $78,000 check is a testament to community support, care, and involvement.
“What surprises me each year is how many local residents contribute something,” Bixby said. “We are so grateful to the big donations but even to the hundreds of people that just write a $50 check. It all adds up.”
This year, they agreed to share funds with three other local charities including the Ronald McDonald House, Team 100, a local organization that helps feed hungry children in Long Beach schools, and 4GIRLS Organization, an empowerment and inspiration organization that gives resources and self-confidence to middle school girls in Long Beach.
John Morris, John Fleishman and Tom Bennett of Team 100.
Claudia Copley, founder of 4GIRLS Organization, explains that this donation will help them reach many more girls in Long Beach.
“We work on a small budget, but what makes us unique is that everyone is a volunteer, so 100 percent of this money will go toward helping empower Long Beach’s middle school girls.”
John Morris, Theresa Bixby, and Claudia Copley of 4GIRLS Organization.
Many Long Beach residents came together to make last year’s Big Bang on the Bay unforgettable. But for those who see the impact the donations have daily, they know the real fireworks are happening every other day of the year through the work of these charities!