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story.lead_photo.caption Jessica Franklin, the special events coordinator for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Saline County, stands in front of artwork created by local artist Matt Coburn. Coburn donated four oil paintings that will be sold during the sixth annual Night to Become. The event, set for 5 p.m. Oct. 16, will also feature country-music artist Justin Moore. - Photo by Staci Vandagriff

— The sixth annual Night to Become with country music artist Justin Moore is scheduled for Oct. 16 at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Saline County in Benton.

“The work our club has been doing in recent years and the amazing youth that we serve are why people should come to this concert,” said Jessica Franklin, special-events coordinator for the Boys & Girls Clubs. “The more people who support us, the more we are able to grow.

“[The more money we raise], the more kids we are able to serve, the more meals we are able to serve and the more programs that run through our club. I just think Saline County is a community that cares about our youth.”

Doors will open at 5 p.m. for Night to Become. Tickets are $125 each or $1,000 for a table of 10. Franklin said the money raised from the event will go back into the club for general operations and other needed expenses. Last year, the club raised $115,000, but Franklin said this year, organizers hope to raise $150,000.

“The more money we raise doing stuff like this, the more opportunities we are able to give our kids,” Franklin said.

Moore is originally from Poyen and is a Saline County resident. He was named the Academy of Country Music’s New Artist of the Year in 2014. The band Just Sayin’ will open for Moore.

The event will also feature live and silent auctions. Franklin said people and businesses in Saline County have been really good about donating items and helping out the cause.

Some of the items being donated this year include a year-long membership to McClure Fitness; a weekend getaway; six VIP passes to any Justin Moore concert, including a signed guitar; and a pair of earrings valued at $3,000.

She said new to this year is the option to do all of the auction bidding online. Franklin said there is a new system on which guests can bid for auction items through their cellphones. For those who don’t want to use their phones, Franklin said, there will be iPad kiosks available for bidding.

Local artist Matt Coburn has also donated four oil paintings that will be sold the night of the event. Those who are interested in purchasing artwork can contact Emmy Rogers at emmy@scbgclub.com.

“In our auction, we will have a little of everything for everyone,” Franklin said. “We have items that the men are going to like and ones that will appeal to women. We will also have items for children.

“So we have a little bit of everything.”

Also new this year, instead of a Q&A session with Moore, Franklin said, there will be a game with local celebrities, including Bryant native and former MLB pitcher Travis Wood and his wife, Brittany, and former NBA player Joe Kline and his wife, Dana.

Franklin has been involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs off and on for about six years, but she joined the staff full time in January. She said she started with the club as a volunteer because of the influence of her grandfather Jim Handley.

“He was a member growing up,” she said. “He came from a low-income family. The club saved him and introduced him to sports. And now he is the president of our board of directors.”

Staff writer Sam Pierce can be reached at (501) 244-4314 or spierce@arkansasonline.com.

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