Blue Jeans and Blue Doors raises more than $41,000 for Club programming in Erie County

What is it: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio’s ninth annual Blue Jeans for Blue Doors event, hosted at Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron, recently raised more than $41,000 for club programming in Erie County.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio provides safe, fun places for kids to go after school, according to the BGCNEO site. The organization hopes to double the number of kids they serve by 2025, so fundraisers like Blue Jeans for Blue Doors, help to raise “critical funds that help support those goals as we partner together to open doors of access and opportunity for our Club members,” according to a site promoting the event. “100% of the proceeds raised will directly benefit the kids in Erie County who attend our Clubs.”

Samarion Newell, the 2023 BGCNEO and Ohio Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year, gave the keynote speech. Newell is a 2023 graduate of Sandusky High School and currently attends Cleveland State University.

“The event gave me the opportunity to talk about the importance of the club mentors and their connection to the kids,” says Newell. “Every child is unique and deserves a chance to write their own stories and the club helps children build confidence and embrace that about themselves.

“When I was at regionals for the Youth of the Year competition, I ended up getting in my head and wasn’t confident in the speech I was going to give and my mentor, Jerome Johnson, saw that I was off and we took the time to talk about it and he reminded me of who I was and what it is that I do in a time where I had lost sight of who I was. I think everyone deserves to have someone like that in life and the club makes that possible.”

Why is it important: Events like Blue Jeans for Blue Doors help to fund programs like two that are upcoming, the Opening Track music program, which culminates with a holiday concert on Dec. 7, and a new career readiness certificate program launching in 2024, according to BGCNEO Director of Communications Ken Wood.

"Throughout the years, the funds raised at Blue Jeans for Blue Doors have been vital to our ability to provide safe, fun places for Sandusky kids to go after school," says BGCNEO Regional Area Director Jerome Johnson. "There is no charge to families, so events like these are critical to our efforts to promote academic success, healthy lifestyles and character development. Community involvement is so important."

How to get involved: To donate to the organization, go to!/donation/checkout.