AFES to hold Inauguration Bash

A few days before President Obama is sworn in for his second term, Athletics For Education and Success will hold an Inauguration Bash fundraiser.

“Basically it’s a few hours to celebrate the inauguration of our president. The proceeds go toward the AFES Project Slam,” said AFES founder Charles Clayton.

Doors will open at 2 p.m. Jan. 19 at AFES, which is located at 712 Third St. N.W. in the former Hillcrest Elementary School. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or in advance at AFES. For more information, call AFES at 955-2969.

The Inauguration Bash will have good food and live music, Clayton said.

“It’s going to include all-American small bite buffet-style meal,” he said.

There will be 10 to 15 different dishes for guests to sample.

“You can try a little bit of everything,” he said.

Pianist Bruce Perry will play some traditional patriotic and folk music, Clayton said, and a band will provide more contemporary music.

“We’ll showcase what’s been done with AFES in the past, and what we’re planning in the future,” he said.

People in the community came up with the idea for an inaugural bash, Clayton said, such as AFES supporter Michelle Summers.

“We wanted a theme, and we thought this would be good,” said Summers. “We just needed an upcoming event, and that was the closest one.”

The money will help AFES build a new multipurpose building at its location, Clayton said. The building will house a gymnasium for the center’s basketball programs, and provide a skill-to-work area where seventh- through 12th-grade students can learn skills like carpentry, plumbing, wielding and small engines.

Put simply, the point of the bash is “to raise money, and have fun doing it,” Summers said. “We want people to come and have a good time, so they’ll come to the next one.”

Summers has been volunteering at and supporting the group since 2008.

“I saw firsthand how much a positive impact AFES has on the children and the community,” she said. “As a former educator, I know that AFES teaches things like discipline, respect, athletics and of course schoolwork.

“They teach values and everyday things that we need to provide to make a better community.”