Weddings, conferences, corporate meetings, social functions, fundraisers and parties – the Richmond Hill City Center hosts them all. But it’s not just about events. Richmond Hill City Center General Manager Beverly Cosmann said the City Center’s goal is to support the community, including its charitable organizations.
“We support our community through donating our time to charities or hosting charity events to help them raise funds,” Cosmann said. “Whether we host the event or not, we try in some way to support the cause.”
She said as a part of the service industry it is important for the City Center, which can host up to 400 guests, to give back and support those in need.
The Richmond Hill City Center has two main ways of supporting local nonprofit organizations or charities: Festive Fridays and the Lunch Bunch Club.
For the past few months, people have been approaching staff at the City Center about starting an after-hours event on the veranda. Cosmann said they decided to start Festive Fridays on the second and third Fridays of each month.
“We decided that we would open our doors, allowing the local community a chance to come out and experience the City Center and its amazing environment for a few hours,” Cosmann said. “At the same time, we wanted to support a charity or nonprofit entity that solely relies on donations from the community to stay afloat.”
During the events, guests can enjoy discounted drinks, free snacks and entertainment. A portion of the proceeds benefits a local organization for that Friday. Festive Fridays are free to anyone over the age of 21.
“We provide light snacks and a cash bar, where guests can purchase a beverage of choice, with 20 percent of the proceeds donated to the charity of the night,” Cosmann explained. “The charity is welcome to set up a raffle or turn this event into something larger if they choose. Guests can sit on our veranda and listen to the entertainment for the night. Each Festive Friday runs for a couple hours and then the hope is that guests will leave and continue their night out at one of the surrounding restaurants or bars.”
In September, the City Center hosted a Festive Friday for the Bryan County Bark Park and another for the Bryan County Pay It Forward Foundation.
The next charity Festive Fridays will be supporting is the Savannah VOICE Festival from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 14, According to Cosmann, the City Center is also planning an event to support the Richmond Hill Historical Society; however, the Nov. 14 Festive Friday will be the last one for the year. The Festive Friday events will pick back up in January.
“We have been approached by several charities, and we plan to run a Festive Friday event for each one,” Cosmann said. “The entertainment that is provided is donated by the DJ or live entertainment. It is their way of giving back and also creating awareness of what they have to offer the community. Everyone benefits. Everyone plays a part in making these events a success. It is all about community.”
In August, the Richmond Hill City Center began the Lunch Bunch Club, which takes place every Thursday. The City Center provides lunch to those in the community at a cost of $15 or $13 for military, police and firefighters. For each meal purchased, $1 is given to the charity of the week and the Richmond Hill City Center matches the final donation.
“On Oct. 23, we supported The Warriors for William Foundation, a nonprofit organization raising money for cancer research, which was inspired by William Webb and his fight against neuroblastoma,” Cosmann said. “For Veterans Day, we are having the Lunch Bunch Club on Tuesday instead of Thursday. On Nov. 11, we will be opening our doors to the Matthew Freeman Project as our way of supporting the veterans. We will be serving lunch to the public from 12-1:30 p.m.”
“The Matthew Freeman Project is a local nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to the support of education in order to promote communities of promise, prosperity and peace throughout the United States and the world,” Cosmann said. “It’s a perfect fit for Veterans Day and our community.”
To learn more about this event, go to the Richmond Hill City Center’s Facebook page. The menu for each Lunch Bunch Club is posted on the Facebook page. Guests are encouraged to make a reservation for the lunch by “liking” the menu for each week they plan to attend on Facebook. Guests can also call the Richmond Hill City Center at 445-0043.
“The goal is build overall awareness within the community,” Cosmann said. “It’s always good to know what is going on around you and what your community has to offer you. These events are important because it creates awareness of different needs the community has. We have a large military community in Richmond Hill, so there is a constant flow of new people moving into our area. This is a great outlet for them to become familiar with what the community has to offer, as well as how the community supports each other.”
According to Cosmann, the charities supported by the Richmond Hill City Center can be from all spectrums. If local charities of Bryan County are interested in being featured during one of the City Center’s events, call the center at 445-0043.