Grillin’ for Girls hosts its sixth fundraiser

Published 10:32 am Tuesday, February 13, 2024

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VALLEY — The sixth annual Grillin’ for Girls fundraiser for the Alabama Sheriffs’ Girls Ranch
was a big success this past Saturday. A total of 536 ribeye steaks were grilled Saturday afternoon
underneath The Oaks, an outdoor pavilion a short distance away from Langdale Methodist
Church. Plates were served in the Community Room inside Valley Community Center starting at
6 p.m. EST. The grilling crew was made up of employees of the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office
along with volunteers. Among them was Sheriff Jeff Nelson, former Sheriff Sid Lockhart and
Tommy Sims, who’s retiring as jail administrator.
“Everything went great,” Ranch Director T.J. Wood told The Valley Times-News. “Once again,
Grillin’ for Girls was a great success, and we want to thank the many sponsors, volunteers and
those who came to our dinner for what they did.”
Almost everyone from the Ranch was there. This included all 20 girls who are living there, their
house parents and most of the people from the administrative office.
The girls range in age from six to 18. They live with house parents in three separate ranch
“Grillin’ for Girls is something we look forward to every year,” Wood said. “Everyone at the
ranch is so appreciative of the support we receive from the people of Chambers County.”
Individuals, civic clubs and churches are supportive of the Ranch. The West Point Rotary Club,
for example, has provided everything needed for an outdoor volleyball court. “We recently
brought in some sand for a beach volleyball court,” Wood said. “The girls love playing on it. The
previous year, the Rotary Club provided us a trampoline. The girls have absolutely loved it, too.”
On March 22, the girls will be heading to an annual event in Samson, Alabama known as Camp
Victory. They will be there for three days and will have a chance to interact with youth from
other Sheriff’s Ranches in the state. It’s something they look forward to all year long.
“I just want everyone in Chambers County to know how thankful we are for the support that’s
given to us by the people of Chambers County,” said Wood.
The Alabama Sheriffs Youth Ranches is a charitable, nonprofit corporation sponsored by the
Alabama Sheriffs’ Association and managed by a board of trustees. There are four youth ranches,
two for boys and two for girls. The boys ranches are located in Baldwin and St. Clair counties,
and the girls ranches are in Colbert and Tallapoosa counties.
The Ranch program is funded almost entirely by private donations from concerned individuals,
churches, civic clubs, corporations and foundations.
Life on the Ranches centers around the same premise the Ranch program was founded on more
than 50 years ago now. The Ranches provide family situations with houseparents on working
ranches where Christian principles, hard work, responsibility, manners and loving kindness are
used to help children grow strong in body, mind and spirit. It’s a formula that has worked for
more than five decades and continues to help children find their way.

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