BGCOR Receives $50,000 from Hot Air Balloon Festival Proceeds | News

Much-needed money was raised for a local nonprofit at an event earlier this year.

On Labor Day weekend, September 4-5, the Bingham Group held their 8th annual Monroe Life Balloon Festival, raising $50,000 for boys and girls clubs in the Ocoee area.

The festival was held at the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore and 10 hot air balloon pilots entertained the crowds who also enjoyed the various games and attractions.

In 2019, Lisa Bingham, Chairman of the Bingham Group, contacted BGCOR Board Member Paul Willson about which club might be the beneficiary of proceeds from the annual hot air balloon festival. For more than a century, BGCOR has helped set young people on the path to a brighter future with a mission to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.

As a mother of three foster daughters, the club’s mission resonated with Bingham. She was looking to partner with an organization that worked with children in need, a cause close to her heart.

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The first year of the partnership was low attendance at the festival, but Bingham pledged to give the club enough money to buy a new bus. So, in addition to the money raised by the hot air balloon festival, she tapped into her personal resources and gave the club an additional $10,000 to fill the void.

As the 2021 event approached, there were concerns that the pandemic would negatively impact the event, but instead officials were happy with the turnout and it ended up raising an additional $50,000, this time in unrestricted funds for the club.

“For our organization as a whole, the donation is a huge boost, and for our Monroe-area clubs, it’s an even bigger blow than the arm,” said Carly Armstrong, director of finance and BGCOR Monroe special events. “2019 and 2020 haven’t been good years for us in terms of fundraising, so this was a much-needed gift.”

“The Bingham Group – and in particular Lisa Bingham herself – has been an incredible partner for the clubs,” said BGCOR chief executive Derrick Kinsey. “With this donation, the Bingham Group continues its investment in the Ocoee region and in the health, well-being and future of children in our community. We are very grateful to Lisa and her team.