Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Riverboat fundraiser to benefit at-risk youths

Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for youths and are available by calling 392-6007.

Photo courtesy Wilmington's Residential Adolescent Achievement Place.
Photo courtesy Wilmington’s Residential Adolescent Achievement Place

A nonprofit working to close educational and social gaps among youths is going on a good-cause cruise for its seventh anniversary, and the public is invited.

Wilmington’s Residential Adolescent Achievement Place (WRAAP) will host its third annual “Cruisin’ for Kids” aboard the Henrietta riverboat June 3 to raise funds for the program and celebrate its years of service.

The Henrietta III in downtown Wilmington. File photo by Ben Brown.
The Henrietta III in downtown Wilmington. File photo by Ben Brown.

The 6:30-9 p.m. event on the river (departing from 101 S. Water St.) will include live music, food, drawings, a silent auction and “special guests,” its flier said.

Proceeds will go toward a $20,000 fundraising goal to support WRAAP’s summer reading program and to make payments on a much needed bus it purchased.

“Transportation is a big issue in Wilmington, particularly for the kids we work with,” said Daryl Dockery, WRAAP’s executive director. His agency, based in Wilmington, offers free after-school programs designed to teach at-risk children self-reliance, smart choices and classroom skills.

Most of the households whose children participate earn an annual income of about $13,000, he emphasized. This year about 140 kids were enrolled.

“We’re not just a feeding site where kids come by and just get some food and go home,” Dockery noted. The group’s various provisions include tutoring, homework help, health education and literacy coaching.

Photo courtesy WRAAP
Photo courtesy WRAAP

WRAAP generally works to reduce the number of unsupervised children after school hours, to improve grades and behavior and to meet the “physical, intellectual, emotional and social needs” of young people, said a fact sheet from the agency.

“Personal involvement is the key to academic and social change. Society now has more kids at home after school with no adult supervision,” WRAAP’s website states. “Our program keeps them off the streets and in a fun, safe, structured learning environment.”

The City of Wilmington has granted funds to the group for each of the past several fiscal years, typically at $9,000 each time. The city manager is recommending an increase–at nearly $23,000–in the draft budget currently up for consideration.

New Hanover County, which hasn’t funded the group in the past, is recommending $10,000 in its draft budget.

But money goes quickly, Dockery said.

“To do a small program, where you serve about 50 kids, you’re talking about $125,000,” he explained. “So that puts things in perspective.”

To donate money or contribute other aid to the nonprofit, which says it keeps its funding within Wilmington, call (910) 520-9286.

To learn more about WRAAP and its programming, visit http://www.nc-wraap.com.

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