The Butterfly Effect Project (BEP), a nonprofit, community-oriented organization that champions young girls in underserved communities, is raising funds to assist with its programming - which is offered at no cost to local "butterflies" - during a benefit on Thursday, November 15 at the Suffolk Theater in Riverhead.
"Empowering the community one girl at a time," Tijuana Fulford, BEP Founder, told us is the organization's mission.
The evening at the Suffolk Theater will feature the greatest hits of Motown, which will be showcased by That Motown Band, with special guest stars Garfield Fleming, former singer of The Delfonics; Ryan Shaw, a three time Grammy nominated artist; and La La Brooks, former lead singer of the Crystals. There will be cabaret seating and row seating, and the dance floor will be open for dancing, of course. The show begins at 8 p.m., but doors, the bar and restaurant open at 6:30 p.m.
"We learn how to act with people. We learn more about the world. We learn how to be successful," explains Adriana, a 7-year-old Butterfly, on BEP's website.
Fulford founded the Butterfly Effect Project in 2014. The Riverhead-based nonprofit started with just eight girls that resided in the Riverhead and Flanders areas, and the program has since expanded to reach 208 girls that reside in Riverhead, Flanders, Calverton, Mastic, Shirley, Bellport, Westhampton, Peconic, Patchogue and West Islip.
BEP's hope is to "empower, enlighten and enhance every girl's future; encouraging one girl at a time by eliminating one obstacle at a time." The organization holds meetings every Wednesday during the school year (twice per month in Riverhead and twice per month in Bellport). The Project's goal is to provide "the tools to assist in achieving emotionally stable and self confident futures, in hopes of bringing forth a generation of women who are strong, independent and knowledgeable" and to "eliminate obstacles such as mobility, cultural differences and finances."
"My daughter is experiencing new things, meeting new people. She's able to give back to people she doesn't know. I think it's great what Tia is doing and what the program stands for — helping others in need," noted Ebony Street, a parent of a Butterfly, on BEP's website.
For those unable to attend the benefit, you can also "adopt-a-Butterfly" (sponsor a participant) for $25 per month, or $300 per year.
Admission is $45.
Suffolk Theater is located at 118 East Main Street in Riverhead. For tickets, visit www.suffolktheater.com. For more information, visit www.bepgirls.org.