Sponsored by Business RadioX ® Main Street Warriors
Aces and Experiences Foundation Golf Tournament
Date – Friday, September 16th
Location – Fairways of Canton, 400 Laurel Canyon Pkwy, Canton, GA 30114
B’s Charitable Pursuits and Resources is a Christian husband-and-wife team who want to help charities raise money for their organizations, but at the same time get the community involved to raise awareness for the different charities in the area and have fun in the process.
Brian Pruett holds two degrees from Kennesaw State University: Communications and Sports Management and a Master’s in Business from St Leo University. Brian has 28 years of experience in sales, marketing, and fundraising.
He has served as a sports reporter, a sports information director, and a director of sales for a sports marketing/media company. Brian has organized many fundraising events, sports promotions and sponsorships for organizations such as Nobis Works, Atlanta Spirit, Bowlero – formerly US Play, The Ovarian Cancer Society, Lance Corporal Skip Wells Scholarship Fund, Kennesaw State University, Marietta Adventist Church, CLStrong Foundation, Tranquility House and more!
Brian also has an extensive background in sports and trivia. He has a passion for helping others and running events where not only the participants have fun but brings awareness about the client to the public. Brian believes that the most important thing is to build and establish relationships, teamwork and communication.
Connect with Brian on LinkedIn.
The Mission of ACES Youth Home is to provide temporary and long-term residential placement and care for youths, both boys and girls, ages 12-18. We provide a safe, secure, and nurturing home for youths who have been victims of abuse or neglect.
We help children discover their strengths and learn to cope with the crises in their lives. We strive to recognize the value and dignity of each individual we serve.
Cristina Patten is the Director of Business Development at ACES Youth Home. She is a focused leader and advocate with a record of success cultivating strong relationships with key decision makers and an attention to detail. Ability to leverage a diverse background and adapt to changes in any environment.
Strong social foundation and excellent communication skills combined with creative innovation of sales/marketing and human resources. Lead and influenced peers and direct reports to support overall business goals. Worked with diverse and cross function teams to achieve operation excellence for maximum productivity.
Connect with Cristina on LinkedIn.
Angel Auctions was founded to help Non-Profit and Charity Organizations raise funds and awareness in their communities. We started by specializing in Sports Memorabilia, but offer a wide variety of Framed Prints, Jewelry, and other items for your next auction.
We make it our goal to help your next fundraiser look bigger and better, while raising needed donations that otherwise might not occur. And the best part is we are 100% FREE to your organization! We work with any: Non-Profits, Charities, Schools, Government Programs, Churches, and any and all Community Organizations.
Chad Blake started Angel Auctions and Experiences Foundation because he has a passion to help others. Plus, he gets to incorporate his passion for sports and memorabilia, while giving back to his community.
Chad holds a BA in Management with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship/Small Business from Georgia Southern University. Although he continued to do a lot of charity work in college, his middle and high school years are where his charity and non-profit work truly started.
Chad started by working with many different charities, such as: Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Special Olympics Atlanta, Retirement and Assisted Living Facilities, and his local church. He understood the importance of fundraising and immediately took charge to raise funds and equipment for his football, volleyball, and baseball teams.
Using his contacts and ideas from his many years of experience in: Management, Real Estate, Insurance, and Charity Work helped form what Angel Auctions is today.
Connect with Chad on LinkedIn.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:07] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Woodstock, Georgia. It’s time for Cherokee Business Radio. Now, here’s your host.
Stone Payton: [00:00:24] Welcome to another exciting and informative edition of Cherokee Business Radio Stone Payton here with you this morning. What a fantastic set of conversations this is going to be. Please join me in welcoming back to the Business RadioX microphone with B’s charitable pursuits. Mr. Brian Pruitt. How are you, man?
Brian Pruett: [00:00:45] I’m doing good. Thanks for having me back.
Stone Payton: [00:00:47] Yeah, delighted to have you. So get us caught up. What’s going on over there with your outfit? Have you accomplished anything since I talked to you last?
Brian Pruett: [00:00:55] Well, you know, last time I was here, I was with Lake City branding, so we actually shut that down and I started being charitable pursuits, doing fundraising events. I’m very passionate about helping people and having fun. So what better way to do that than putting on some fundraising events and getting the community together? So that’s what I’m doing.
Stone Payton: [00:01:11] Fun stuff. So what’s coming up soon?
Brian Pruett: [00:01:13] So funny you should ask. September 16th we’ve got the first inaugural Aces and Experiences Foundation Golf Tournament at Fairways of Canada.
Stone Payton: [00:01:22] Mm hmm.
Brian Pruett: [00:01:23] So it’s two great organizations, and we’ll be talking to both of them here in just a little bit.
Stone Payton: [00:01:28] So timing, is it too late to get involved by a sponsorship?
Brian Pruett: [00:01:32] Not at all. We’ve got some sponsorships available for hole sponsors. We do need it pretty quick, though, because we’ve got to get the science printed and that’s deadline is next Friday for that. But we also have some openings for golfers. And if people want to donate just some items for the raffle or silent auction or just donate cash in general, you can do that as well.
Stone Payton: [00:01:49] So I know you’re having a good time with this. What are you enjoying the most, man? What’s the most rewarding about doing what you guys do?
Brian Pruett: [00:01:56] Just seeing the the look on the faces of folks when we’re able to hand them either however little or as big as much money as we can. And just, you know, they’re not expecting really much of anything, but just being able to help them and see the reaction.
Stone Payton: [00:02:09] Yeah, I’ll bet. And you brought a couple of folks with you. I did. From from your world team up for who did you bring with you this morning?
Brian Pruett: [00:02:16] So first I’ve got Christina Patton, who was the Aces Youth Home and she’ll tell you all about them. But she’s a friend of mine as well. And then also Chad Blake with Experience Foundation, another good friend of mine. He can explain what they do, but they both very good organizations and they work a lot with youth in the area. But yeah, so two great organizations.
Stone Payton: [00:02:37] Fantastic. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention today’s episode is brought to you in part by the Main Street Warriors program. For more information, go to Main Street Warriors dot org. All right, let’s get this thing going. Please join me in welcoming to the show with Aces Youth Home. Miss Cristina Patton. How are you doing this morning?
Cristina Patten: [00:02:57] Hey, good. How are.
Stone Payton: [00:02:57] You? I am doing well. Okay, let’s start with mission purpose. How would you articulate what you’re out there trying to do for folks?
Cristina Patten: [00:03:05] Yeah. So Aces Youth Home is a place that provides care and shelter for kids and foster care. So any kids that are around, like 11 to 17 that have been taken into care, we provide we provide help and placement for those kids while the parents are trying to work a case plan. So, yeah, we also what we do most and I feel like something special about us is we have a home that allows the boys and girls to be in the same home. So the reason that’s really important is when these children are removed from homes, they’re sometimes removed from all their siblings too. A lot of places are boys only or girls only, and our purpose is to try to keep those families, the siblings together. A lot of times there’s difficulties and troubles with like transportation. So with us we just keep them together and it helps them flourish. It helps them in so many different ways, just kind of maintaining that family feel so yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:04:18] So there’s been a trend on Instagram lately that has me inspired and it’s either I don’t know if they do it audio or written, but it’s what do you wish people understood about blah blah blah? What do you wish more people understood about your arena, about the foster care system and that kind of thing?
Cristina Patten: [00:04:37] Oh, my gosh.
Stone Payton: [00:04:39] There’s it’s just going to be the Christmas show. She looked at her watch when I asked her that. So sorry, Chad. You have to come back another time. That’s all right.
Cristina Patten: [00:04:45] Yeah, it’s it’s a lot. It really is a lot. I wish that, you know, everybody understood kind of the the ugly process of, you know, removals and all the difficulties that the children are going through. Because what we do is actually, even though it seems kind of grimy and still not so pretty, it really is like the other side of the rainbow. Like once these kids get into the group home, they’re in a safe place. So you immediately start to see them flourish. We provide medical help, therapeutic will help, lots of educational help. And we’re located up in Jasper. So we have like a small town group feel that, you know, all these people come together through the community and they help so much with our kids that it’s it’s really awesome to see them grow.
Stone Payton: [00:05:44] Oh, so what’s your back story? How did you get involved in this kind of work?
Cristina Patten: [00:05:49] I started working in foster care in 2013 with Cherokee County artifacts. I went to volunteer and. It was so crazy. I just wanted to volunteer. That’s all I wanted to do. I just didn’t leave. I was like, I can’t. I can’t leave. Like, I grew up in Cherokee County and some of the cases that I was seeing, I was just. I felt like I grew up in a bubble. Yeah, there’s so many things going on that I. I felt like I couldn’t step away. I was so my heart was so passionate about just helping and working with kids. And as soon as I had, like a few cases that I got on that I worked with, I was like, okay, sign me up. I’m, I’m going to do this. But my background is psychology. I went to Valdosta State for major in psychology and a minor in religious studies. And then I went and got my international business degree, my MBA and London. So everybody was like, Why aren’t you using that? The cool thing about ACS was after I worked at Goshen, after I worked at Defects, I worked for another nonprofit called Goshen Valley Boys Ranch. Yeah, I was a case manager there. And then I was given the opportunity to kind of from aces be able to go over and help kind of restructure a program. So I was using not only my case management skills at that point. I was also using, you know, my MBA.
Stone Payton: [00:07:28] So so tell us a little bit like the day the day in the life of Cristina, like what will you do on a monday and a Tuesday? What are you. What’s your activity?
Cristina Patten: [00:07:41] Well, you just have to be very.
Stone Payton: [00:07:44] Flexible.
Cristina Patten: [00:07:45] Because you never know. You really never know. I mean, there could be there could anything could happen. So I don’t do the case management side of it anymore. I do more so fundraising and marketing. But yeah, as a case manager, you just have to kind of be up and ready for anything on a monday or Tuesday.
Stone Payton: [00:08:06] All right. So let’s talk about marketing, fundraising. Tell us a little bit about that world. Where does the money come from? How do you go get it? And we’ll also want to know how we can help.
Cristina Patten: [00:08:16] We are funded 50% from the state. So the kids that we care for, we have that. And then the other 50% we have to raise. So we do fundraising events. We have. We have we have one or two and then we have lots of donations. So we’re kind of trying to get our name out there and do more fundraising. This will be our first annual event for the golf tournament in September. We’re really excited about it and so excited to be working with experienced foundations. We’ve had them in the past work with the kids and they came in for what was it, Cinco de Mayo came in for Cinco de Mayo, and the kids were like, Don’t leave, have so much fun. Ended up playing basketball all night with them. And then Chad was like, I love these kids. How can how can we have another event together? So then he took them to the baseball game. The kids just absolutely love it. They love having a good, solid mentor figure to look up to and somebody who just wants to spend time with them. So it’s been fantastic. And then we’ve decided to kind of partner up and start doing fundraisers together. So we’ve done a few in the past, and then this will be our first one for the golf tournament.
Stone Payton: [00:09:35] Oh, fun. So we’ll get Ted’s take on this in a minute, too. But speak more to this idea of collaboration. I had a similar conversation as recently as this morning. Someone else who has a media property does podcasting, does video interviewing. And he and I, we are exploring all kinds of different ways that we can go to market together. And we just we feel like there’s plenty of opportunity out there. And together we each have strengths. We each have resources. Yes. And it sounds like you and Chad are of the same of the same mind.
Cristina Patten: [00:10:03] You’ve definitely.
Stone Payton: [00:10:05] Yeah. So tell us more about what was the catalyst for the collaboration and what you’ve what you’ve learned from working together like that?
Cristina Patten: [00:10:11] Oh, I mean, from the get go, I think we’re both very life minded. And the fact that, you know, we’re doing this for the kids, this isn’t a competition. You know, our business, our organization is all about the kids we’re not worried about, really. I mean, there I just have to say, there’s no competition like we we work better as a team and we work stronger together. So him and I are able to use the people that he’s worked with in the past, the people that I’ve worked with in the past, and kind of collaborate all that together. And it’s it’s awesome to see it come together because everything’s bigger, everything’s better, everything’s stronger. I don’t know really much about golf, so me putting it together might look more like a fashion show then.
Stone Payton: [00:11:06] That’s okay. Chad may not know a whole heck of a lot about fashion shows.
Cristina Patten: [00:11:08] I don’t know.
Brian Pruett: [00:11:09] I mean, I would not be models for that. So, you know.
Cristina Patten: [00:11:12] Probably could serve a drink. But I don’t know about anything else. I can I can do some pretty signs, but so it’s been really great. He’s got his strengths to this golf tournament, whereas like, you know, I really appreciate that part of it. I didn’t even know. Like, this is embarrassing. I don’t know. Like a foursome. What is this? I don’t know. I’ve never heard that. Like, okay, sure. Well, that’s what you call it. But there’s so many different things that I just I needed to be. I needed to partner with somebody. And so Chad’s experience and background doing this and helping me through it has been awesome as well. And then as far as like sponsors and working with people, I love going out and socializing and you know, on that side of it, I’ve, I feel strong about that too. So us going together to meetings and it’s just been fantastic. We work well.
Stone Payton: [00:12:05] Together. Oh, bet. So have you found that the business community, people who run small businesses and own businesses, is that a place to go and build relationships and get funding and connections?
Cristina Patten: [00:12:18] Yeah, yeah, for sure. I think as much as, you know, they see the need that we have in our small community for, you know, the kids like giving back to an organization like us. You see the effects. I mean, you see these kids are at the ballpark. They’re they’re in people’s homes. They’re your next door neighbor. So it helps everybody as a community. And it goes back to, you know, all the small business owners that, you know, when the kids are walking in, they’re talking about how awesome it is, or they got a free ice cream from somebody the other day or they got a special trip somewhere and they remember those moments and they talk about it. So it’s good for everybody.
Stone Payton: [00:13:03] Oh, bet. So how did Brian and his organization come into your circle?
Cristina Patten: [00:13:08] We met Brian last year or the last golf tournament, and he was super helpful with, you know, just the marketing side of everything. And he’s been been fantastic just to work with, team up, partner with, and now he’s got his for profit organization that helps nonprofits. So yeah, great.
Stone Payton: [00:13:29] I’ll bet. So you’ve done a lot of golf tournaments, Brian, that’s like one of your.
Brian Pruett: [00:13:34] Well, no, not I mean, only really three or four. I did one in college, helped with one in college. And that’s not a strong point of mind. I don’t think I want to I want to be more of the community type fields, but I know enough to be dangerous. So.
Stone Payton: [00:13:51] All right. So the next thing you have coming up that that we ought to let our listeners know about, is this golf tournament, is that the next big event? Yes. All right. So let’s make sure that we leave those leave our listeners with that. And they can get involved. They can still sign up to to play. They can donate in a small business, can sponsor in some way, sponsor a hole or whatever.
Cristina Patten: [00:14:13] Yeah, yeah. There’s whole opportunities. There’s sponsorships, even if you just want to donate a basket, something that we can raffle off, there’s many different ways to give back. I’ve had people even help with advertising. We got a billboard up, so. Fantastic, awesome stuff. Yeah, really good. So if anybody has any questions, they can just reach out or reach out through or, you know, email, aces, Youth Home or Experience Foundation for extra questions. If anybody wants to volunteer, we need all the help.
Stone Payton: [00:14:48] So yeah. So do you guys have a website or is there a LinkedIn profile or anything that you want to make sure that our I want them to be able to connect with you if they want to continue this conversation.
Cristina Patten: [00:14:58] Yeah. Thank you. We have a Facebook page. It’s the first annual golf tournament for Aces and Experiences and then Aces has their website Aces dot org. I’m also on Facebook and I’m connected with the Aces Facebook. So we. Usually get a lot of questions and just.
Speaker4: [00:15:23] Also if you have other experiences with the Nest Foundation dot org, there’s a link on their.
Stone Payton: [00:15:29] Okay.
Speaker4: [00:15:29] To charity today, which is a golf link that Dickson Golf donated to us. So that’s got all the information they can pay for sponsorships, golfers send questions so that maybe one of the easier ways to do it.
Stone Payton: [00:15:44] Yes.
Cristina Patten: [00:15:44] Well, he said.
Stone Payton: [00:15:47] All right, fantastic. So don’t go anywhere. Stay with us. We’re going to visit with Chad a little bit Chad. All right, Chad, tell us a little bit about your organization.
Chad Blake: [00:15:56] Well, before I do it, I do want to say something about aces and kind of how we got started with them. She was right. It was Cinco de Mayo had an absolutely just wonderful time up there. They’ve always had such great kids up there. And it was something that part of our experience is foundation is a Braves Buddies program where we take groups, we’ve done special needs and Power Cherokee, a bunch of different groups, obviously the foster care and brought them to the Braves game. And if I had two or three more bedrooms at the time, we would have adopted the three kids in particular that were brother and sister. Fortunately, in all honesty, they did get adopted, stayed pretty close, so it was awesome. But it was. You just fall in love with these kids when you’re out there. And I mean, one of them came up again. It was, I think, yogurt. We stopped afterwards. He came up and gave me a hug and I was almost in tears. So it’s just, you know, sometimes just that powerful ness of that. And Brian, we’ve besides COVID, we worked we obviously had a little bit of lull there, but our first couple of golf tournaments where a lot of success had some celebrities out there, a lot of athletes. We got that again this year, which I’ll touch on later. But Brian’s always had a passion and he’s always really done something similar to charitable pursuits. And, you know, he’s finally able to do something to passion. And obviously what happened with the COVID kind of hurt some of his other stuff, but he’s always had a passion for that giving back. And whether it’s through the magazine or himself, you know, his family. Same thing with Christina. I’ve known her for quite a few years. And just, you know, our friends and family have gotten close and everything. And it just it really is kind of like a family organization. So.
Stone Payton: [00:17:42] Yeah. So tell us about experiences.
Chad Blake: [00:17:45] We are what I like to call kind of like Mini Make-A-Wish meets Big Brothers, Big Sisters. And now obviously we don’t have the deep pockets that Make-A-Wish does and they do an awesome job. I don’t want to ever take anything away. I will say they have maybe more extreme cases than we do, but my goal was always to maybe somebody just going through a rough time. Maybe, you know, we find out a kid’s lost a parent or a divorce. We’ve had young people going through cancer treatments, brought them out to Braves game, done some fun things, movies, whatever, just something that experience to take their mind kind of off all the bad stuff that’s potentially going on in their lives. But I also love the volunteer aspect. You know, I do love to get out there. Sometimes I probably get more out of it than a lot of people we try and bring in. Our volunteers are trying to instill it in all my kids. You know, it really is about giving back. In fact, my daughter always she sees somebody, you know, potentially somebody on the side of the road asking for money. Well, let’s give them something. What do we have to give? And if I don’t have anything, she, you know, she’s like, oh, well, maybe we come back later. So it’s at least it’s probably at least working their minds with what we’re doing.
Stone Payton: [00:19:01] Yeah.
Chad Blake: [00:19:03] Excuse me. But, you know, it’s just one of those things I, I run a for profit charity auction company called Angel Auctions, and I’ve been doing that now about 20 years. We are our biggest client, so to speak, is the Brady Foundation. We do about 40 events, silent auctions with Gwinnett Stripers, the Rome Braves and a bunch of other nonprofits in between. So we do we do a lot with sports memorabilia and jewelry and relics and all that stuff and never charged the organization. They get a percentage of whatever auctions. And one of the things working with all these organizations, I notice not that they didn’t do a good job with their mission, but I was like, you know, there’s so many opportunities maybe to take a family somewhere or help out. And so we’ve worked a lot of those good relationships and that’s really what kind of spawned experience is foundation. We started officially with the 501c3 in 2018 after a couple of things that happened, primarily my wife’s family with some tragedies and then also a young man that was was battling cancer ended up passing. And it was just everything we were able to do for him and his family just meant so much. And we didn’t really realize the impact till later.
Brian Pruett: [00:20:19] You need to tell him what that was. That was just because it was pretty cool.
Chad Blake: [00:20:21] Yeah, it was. He was a young man, I say young. He was late twenties, I guess, when he was diagnosed. And he ended up huge praise fan from Augusta, a blue collar worker with the job that he was working they think probably gave him cancer. So ultimately he ended up at Emory and there was another charity that was housing him there that we were involved with. And so we took him out. We kind of befriended him and my wife and I and we went out there, took them to Braves game, got him a hat because unfortunately he lost all his hair. So we wore it all the time. Yeah. In fact, we and it was some of the things we take for granted. I remember walking just through the parking lot, not very far into the movie theater later on, too. And he explained to me how he felt like his skin was on fire because everything he was going through, all all the medicines and everything. So it just again, you just don’t realize that stuff. He wasn’t a guy who spoke a whole lot about it. You know, he had a lot of pains and aches and they actually sent him home in remission. And three days later, he collapsed. Unfortunately, they brought him back to Emory. And one of the things my wife and I at the time lived in Smyrna, so we were pretty close to there. His parents were going to drive back because they didn’t have money to stay at a hotel.
Chad Blake: [00:21:37] And my wife said, absolutely not. So she went and checked him. And fortunately, unfortunately, I guess in some manners he passed the next day. Yeah. With his children on top of him. He still had the Braves hat on that we gave him, but fortunately he was there. His parents were able to see him and say their final goodbyes and it was just something, again, talking to the wife later, we still follow the children. They just graduated, which makes me feel super old. But but it’s just, you know, again, that that impact we had was really just a couple of things we did. Sometimes there’s just a matter to sit there and talk. You know, we always kind of joke like we can do Braves games. You know, we’ve done a cool United thing where the young man was the first one ever again. It just happened to be a cancer thing. Brain cancer in remission. He’s doing well. He actually local here in Cherokee, but he was the first non referee to flip the coin on the field so and that was something we were able to hook up with them. We were on the field and yeah, it was just it was an awesome experience. And again, we still stay in touch with the mom. You know, the young man’s doing well. He just graduated.
Stone Payton: [00:22:46] High school too, so.
Chad Blake: [00:22:49] But yeah, and those are just a few of the stories that, you know, stuff we’ve done. But it’s, you know, if anybody wants, you know, to do anything, I mean, I’ll go fishing with them, you know, whatever it is, if that’s a small thing, if they have a passion for, you know, one of the things to we, you know, we’ve done over their experiences, I’m sorry, at ACS, just bring them dinner sometimes. Just sit there and talk with them, see what’s going on, because sometimes they get new kids. And, you know, I wish I could spend a little bit more time. I got three of my own, which keep me quite busy. But, you know, it’s just one of them, you know, it’s the passion, I think, that all three of us and I think that’s where that synergy definitely comes from for all of us to work together and, you know, again, make experience as foundation in this golf tournament. You know, what it’s becoming? We’re almost I’d say we probably got about 30 out of 120 left as far as golfers go. Yeah. So a few foursomes in there. It’s only $400 for the foursome, 125 for an individual. We do have Mark Wohlers coming out closer in the 95 Atlanta Braves. We got Terrance Mathis coming out. Besides Julio and Roddy, he holds all the records and he did till they came. Also have.
Brian Pruett: [00:24:01] Chris Hammond.
Chad Blake: [00:24:02] Chris Hammond, former brave.
Brian Pruett: [00:24:04] We have Chaz Lytle, who is a holds the current record of steals and triples for the UGA Bulldogs as well. He played in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. And then the next guy nobody’s probably ever going to heard of. The name is Tim Farr. He’s a rodeo guy and you never consider rodeo and golf together. But let me tell you what, he’s a pretty good golfer. I never after being thrown off bulls, you would think that he couldn’t swing the golf club.
Stone Payton: [00:24:27] But he can really and most importantly, Brian Pruitt be there on tour. Right. That’s got to be a draw.
Chad Blake: [00:24:33] Sign for you. Autographs. All right.
Stone Payton: [00:24:35] Well, first of all, yes, the passion, all three of you, it comes through. I can see it in your eyes. I know our listeners can hear it in your in your voice. But one of the things that is coming to light for me in this in this conversation, it doesn’t have to be this great, big, heroic effort just interacting with these folks. So just yeah, I mean, these small things, they’re not small. Right? Right. But having dinner, having a conversation, taking a kid, fishing, you know, just I love to fish. So, you know, that would be a lot of fun to take a kid over to Debris Park or over to Altoona and drown a worm, you know, and just have a good time for an afternoon. Just it might seem little to us, but it’s not little, is it?
Chad Blake: [00:25:18] No, not at all. Yeah, I actually. Last night was. We had some stuff we’re going to donate and a Facebook friend, which I don’t know where that will. We just have a lot of mutual friends. She’s a little bit younger than me. She just moved into a brand new house and I said, Hey, I got some pots and pans and some other stuff. We’re getting ready to donate. Do you need anything? And she’s like, Yeah, you know, I could use this and this. And she wasn’t being selfish by any means. You know, again, I was the one who offered it and she said, Can I ask you a question? I said, Of course. She goes, Why would you help somebody that you don’t know? And I just I said, You know, it’s just something I love to do. I think, you know, if you have that ability to help somebody, you know, our mission is kind of to make a wish. But I always say to if we can help somebody, we have the money for it, we will. I mean, we do a Santa for seniors where we bring stockings and different things. We do donate and casa and all that stuff. It’s, you know, sometimes it’s more about getting stuff. And I’ll say this about Aces, their partners, especially up there in Jasper, when you see maybe a kid didn’t really get anything at Christmas or nothing at all to see what they get and they get everything on their wish lists usually. Yeah. Just is unbelievable. So it’s that joy sometimes just giving.
Stone Payton: [00:26:35] Them.
Cristina Patten: [00:26:35] We sometimes go a little overboard. But I mean, we’ve had kids come in. It’s like, you know, I never had a Christmas tree. So we’re putting up the Christmas tree and you’re just like, wow.
Brian Pruett: [00:26:46] Chad’s even taking some of this, though, out of the country, right? Twice.
Chad Blake: [00:26:50] Well, actually, four times we every time now I’m very fortunate, blessed. I’m going to be the first say that that my wife Cheryl has done awesome brownie points and is one of the top sales people with one digital insurance. And they’re actually our major sponsor here. So and always get great support with the Brooklyn family more brownie points and but she she’s always one of the top salespeople. And we go on different trips that she’s won through her company and earned. And we’ve gone to Mexico. We went one time and we’re in Dominican cap, kind of we’re able to actually get with the school and give away a bunch of learning supplies, a lot of baseball stuff, try to make sure that and it was just the coolest experience to see the kids come up. Appreciate it. Take pictures, just sometimes taking the pictures, especially with the teenagers, you know, five classes is all in Cap Khana from kindergarten to high school. 12th grade is what they had. So to see them all come out, it was just unbelievable. And they were so appreciative. And again, I’m sure I got more out of her. We got more out of it than anybody. But, you know, it’s just and again, anything I can do, I always get yelled at because they don’t want me going off site. But I always say, if that’s my end, that’s a good way to go and I’ll be okay.
Stone Payton: [00:28:15] Another thing that I just have to believe happens, particularly when you’re working with youth, but probably with other adults, is this ongoing legacy, right? So a kid comes through aces or they have these experiences and you’ve modeled for them this behavior. And I bet you’ve started to see some of those folks turn around and act in the same way and help others.
Cristina Patten: [00:28:41] Yeah, right. Yeah, we have I’ve had a few kids that have actually left aces and then reach back out and say, Can I help you guys volunteer? So that’s pretty cool.
Chad Blake: [00:28:49] I’ve had a couple of donations from the Aces. Kids do that. Have you really? Yeah. Once they aged out. Right. So, I mean, they, you know, they still want to be involved in to do things. And that’s again, that’s I think what she does, Christina does and then her whole team up there to just awesome any time I ever have a question or anything if we can do anything, we definitely try and help too.
Stone Payton: [00:29:10] So I got to ask about the auction business because to me, it’s just fascinating. You know, we love Holly and I going to the you know, to the galas for different fundraising events and and to watch the there’s the silent auction. We enjoy that. And we always spend more than we plan to. And we’re fine with it because it does feel good. We know it’s for a good cause and we’re very blessed and I love watching the live auction stuff. To How long have you been doing the auction thing?
Chad Blake: [00:29:36] Man I’ve been doing it 20 years of my my my first time doing an auction was with the Rome Braves at their hot stove. And it’s just that’s just turned into a great relationship. And I’ve seen so many gems come and go and different people. So but it’s been a lot of fun. I mean, I have my own little I call it my Romi family out there. So every time I get out them, I get hugs. It’ll get all the time. It’s like seeing, you know, family and friends come through because I’ve been out there for so long, I’ve seen the kids grow, too. But yeah, I just it’s something I had a passion for. I’m actually from real estate construction. Still hold my license, but you know the rest of it. After the second turn, I just kind of saw the writing on the door. I was like, I. Know, something a little bit more stable. And I was actually asked we were doing some work by one of the Falcons at the time. His wife asked if she goes, I know you love sports. Do you have anything to maybe help us with the auction? I said, yeah, I could probably do some stuff. And then I started looking and there were some memorabilia dealers who just kind of weird and almost shady the way they did. It wasn’t about fundraising. And I said, You know what? There’s something here, and I’ve changed it up kind of the way I do it.
Chad Blake: [00:30:47] But but again, we’ve raised I just wrote to the Braves Foundation, one check from a weekend was almost $5,000. So in any time I like doing those because that means, again, it’s enough to take care of me and my family, you know, as well as to give back to the community. People love it. You know, I see adults go crazy with, oh my gosh, this is my favorite player. And I hear all these stories and it’s that part is always fun, you know, especially in the galas and stuff. That’s definitely our sweet spot because everybody, you know, they focus on it. Yeah. You know, besides maybe the dinner or whatever the case is, do a little bit of live. I do not speak 100 miles an hour, but, you know, other than that, you know, we just we just help however we can. And it’s something again, I mean, sports memorabilia, relics, whether it’s fossils, civil war bullets, that type stuff, just always joke. It’s stuff you can’t find just walking into Mart, you know? And it’s a lot of unique stuff. People buy Christmas presents for their kids. Yeah, obviously with the Atlanta Braves and Georgia Bulldogs doing so well, that stuff goes crazy. We got replica rings, we do large canvases, just something for everybody. So it’s it’s been a lot of fun, especially this past year with with all the success of our local teams.
Stone Payton: [00:32:05] So and you’ve done it long enough. Now you’ve got the machinery in place, right? You’ve got the methodology, the discipline, the process. So if ABC non profit calls or whatever says, Hey, we want to raise some money, they reach out to you, you well, walk us through that process. What does that what does that look like? If they want to set something up and they want to start working with you? Yeah.
Chad Blake: [00:32:26] Yeah. I mean, I’m very, very simple. I’m very old school minded with kind of a handshake. I always get asked about contracts. To me, it’s not worth it. Yeah, because I stay so busy that honestly, I turn down sometimes more than I can take on. I do have a couple of people that help me out, you know, and I really appreciate that when they can do it. But, you know, it’s one of those things. It’s definitely my baby and I know how to do it. I mean, when I’m at going at a room, I mean, I’m walking on, you know, concrete for four straight hours, this back and forth, asking people they need help. Right. So, you know, it’s not necessary for everybody to do that kind of stuff. But I love it. You know, it’s the first thing, you know, I do. I introduce myself, talk to people the whole time. But, you know, somebody wants to get involved with an auction. All you to do is give me a call, tell me the date. We’ll check it out again. I’ll bring out all the items. And if they do have anything that they want to add to it, always 100% free. My goal is to really take that aspect of it off. So, you know, and they’ll get 100% of that, you know, it just adds to it. So and personally, we, you know, besides like the golf tournament and stuff for our nonprofits, I stay away from gift certificates stays somewhere because I always say they and I always try and help the nonprofits if they’re, you know, kind of ways to make extra money and really, you know, talk to that. That’s more about who, you know. You know, if you got a restaurant a bunch of times just asking for a gift card, you’re helping them out. Let them help you out. Right. And, you know, it’s again, it’s fundraising. I don’t have an online store. I don’t do anything like that. I’ll help people maybe with gifts occasionally. But, you know, it’s you know, it’s something if you saw my garage and basement. Oh, yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:34:08] So but it’s it’s zero risk, right? I mean, first of all, you know what you’re doing, but it’s also you’re going to bring all this stuff, we’re going to get our cause is going to get a percentage of what you do. And if I’ve got a cousin with a condo in Savannah, that’s we can put that out on the table too. And we keep all that.
Chad Blake: [00:34:25] Yep. Love it. Yeah. And it’s, you know, again, no setup fee, nothing. The only thing I ask for is tables and tablecloths and people, and I’ll literally do the rest. So we even take payments. We clean up at the end. Well, you’ll get a spreadsheet seeing exactly what went, how much, and we write a check within a couple of days. And I always love writing that check because that means, you know, we did well out there for everybody.
Stone Payton: [00:34:48] Sure.
Chad Blake: [00:34:49] You know, and it’s I mean, it’s a nice write offs at the end. I’m not going to lie.
Stone Payton: [00:34:52] But yeah, well, maybe you can coach people through that process a little bit too, or put them in touch with someone that has that experience and expertise. Because a lot of us, while we might have a heart for this kind of thing, we don’t know this world. The Business RadioX Main Street Warriors program. It’s it’s a relatively new thing. And we you know, we’re just kind of we’ve got a good heart and we’ve got some marvelous resources available to us to kind of make it work. But there’s just so much we don’t know. Right. And so that is fantastic. All right, let’s make sure that our listeners can reach out and connect with you on the experiences and or the the auction work, whatever you think is appropriate email, phone, website, that kind of stuff.
Chad Blake: [00:35:32] Yeah, definitely. First angel auctions, if you just go to WW dot my angel auctions dot com. That just showed my age because you probably don’t need the WW. It’s a world wide web for all you kids.
Stone Payton: [00:35:45] And Christina is on Tik Tok. No, no.
Cristina Patten: [00:35:49] Okay. I might have it on my phone.
Stone Payton: [00:35:51] I don’t actively post anything.
Chad Blake: [00:35:55] I’m still on Facebook. I’m the old man. That’s what my kids tell me.
Brian Pruett: [00:35:57] I’m still on MySpace we’re talking about.
Chad Blake: [00:36:00] But you got good music on there. But you know also. And then experiences. Foundation dot org. You know you can again check out the golf tournament, see a bunch of our work on there. They are just informational pages. So you’ll see a lot of different events. I mean, we work at Georgia, Georgia Tech, Braves, all sorts of different nonprofits. You can see them on there. I think to count it’s over 300 at this point that we’ve helped over than 20 years. Yeah. Do some kind of event charity auction something to those extents and. Yeah. I’m just. I don’t know, I’m so excited about, like, what we’ve accomplished. And I had the pro reach out to me today and said, Where are you at? And I told him and I think he was shocked because he’s like, Well, okay, y’all really are heading toward your goal. And when you have three like minded people, you know, you know, you’re going to hit that. And we’re we’ve been blessed. We’ve gotten a lot of the higher end. I do want to add this to a lot of the higher end sponsors are taken. We’ll still take more money if we need to and we’ll take care of you however we need to. We’ll be doing shout outs the whole time. We do have, I would say probably I think last count was about eight whole sponsors left. All of us are really big on networking, giving back. You can come out, set up at a whole hand out swag, talk to the golfers. You’re going to have at least probably 150 people total out there. Put stuff in our swag bags. You’re going to get a yard sign lunch for two and it’s only $150. Holy cow. So it’s a great way to get your business name out there, talk to a lot of people and meet some celebrities.
Brian Pruett: [00:37:40] Me, you get to meet me.
Stone Payton: [00:37:41] Get to meet Brian. Yeah.
Chad Blake: [00:37:44] We’re. We’re trying to get people out there. Oh, sorry. But it’s yeah, I mean, honestly, it’s, you know, it’s sometimes and we just did our cornhole tournament. And one of the things I’ll say real quick, we’re talking to one of the young men that was actually playing in it. And they were one of the, I think, top Final Four. The young man came up to me and he was he was talking to me. He actually came through foster care himself. So it was just the matter, you know? I mean, sometimes you just touch on people. And he was just so ecstatic. And, you know, he was gave me his information. He’s like, if I do anything. So, you know, a lot of people do appreciate it and pay it forward, you know, in every aspect they can to.
Stone Payton: [00:38:20] So, yeah. Brian, it just must be a delight working with these folks.
Brian Pruett: [00:38:26] Oh, yeah. Well, especially since Chad and I have known each other, what, 2000 and 2009, something like that. So it’s a long time. But you know, when you. Yeah. When you said when you get three like minded people that just have that passion to give them back and working together in community, I mean, this world is so much negative right now. Let’s get all the positive we can. Yeah, that’s another reason I’m doing charitable pursuits.
Stone Payton: [00:38:46] Yeah. All right, so I want to make sure we leave our listeners with contact coordinates for charitable pursuits as well. What’s the best way for them to reach.
Brian Pruett: [00:38:52] Out to you? All right. So yeah, so the the website is on the W WW. It’s BS like the bumblebee. The Web doesn’t like the apostrophe, so I couldn’t do B apostrophe. So it’s BS. So B’s charitable pursuits dot com that’s the best way to get to me.
Stone Payton: [00:39:10] Well, this has been a lot of fun. It’s been informative. It’s been inspiring. Thank you all for coming in and visiting with us this morning. You’re doing such important work and thank you.
Cristina Patten: [00:39:20] Thanks for having.
Stone Payton: [00:39:21] Us. Yeah, we really sincerely appreciate you and Business RadioX in general and the Main Street Warriors program. We’re going to see if we can’t find some ways to work and play together and and tap into to some folks like you that know what you’re doing. Awesome.
Chad Blake: [00:39:37] Thank you. Thank you. Till you make it. I mean.
Stone Payton: [00:39:38] Yes, absolutely. All right. This is Stone Payton for our guest today and everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying we’ll see you next time on Cherokee Business Radio.