COOS BAY -- Green-haired children belted out the words to "Oompa Loompa."

But, they weren't at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. They were at the Boys & Girls Club of Southwestern Oregon 17th annual Ladies Luncheon on Thursday.

About 500 showed up and were expected to bring in about $35,000 during the event, said Rob Miles, resource developer for the club. He said it costs about $1.2 million per year to operate the club and they count on donations from the community.

"We always need money," Miles said.

The luncheon is the club's third-largest fundraiser, Miles said.

Those who attended the event enjoyed it.

"It was a blast," said Jenna Valley, a student at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology.

Valley said she volunteered to take kids from the club on a trip to intertidal pools this summer.

For those in the club, it was a lifesaver.

Chelsey Corum, who was named Youth of the Year, spoke at the luncheon.

Corum said she couldn't have made it without a refuge like the club to escape her rough home life.

People needed to know about the club, said Nora Terwilliger, luncheon attendee.

"The luncheon reminds women in the community that it's important," Terwilliger, who's attended for years.

"They all have different versions of how they were saved," said Cindy Ball, president of the club.

Ball said she enjoyed the volunteer job during the past four years.

"It's a very rewarding position," Ball said. "I get to see the change in kids' lives.

"Our community needs us. There are a lot of low-income families. The schools can't do it alone. We have to mentor our children."

Most kids have the same mentor for a year, which was better for them, Ball said. She also said it took many people to influence children.

"It takes a whole community to make it a success," Ball said.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.