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Boys & Girls Clubs gala honors Laidlaw
Greg Katulka, left, presents Alex Laidlaw with the Helping Hands Award on Thurdsay at the Gainesville Civic Center during the 10th Annual Futures for Kids Gala by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County’s 10th Annual Futures for Kids Gala may not have been a life-changing event, but what it supports may be.

“I think this organization literally saves lives,” Helping Hands Award recipient Alex Laidlaw said on Thursday evening at the Gainesville Civic Center.

Laidlaw, who runs Holiday Marina in Buford as vice president of Westrec Marinas, was instrumental in implementing an annual golf tournament to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs.

The tournament was established 14 years ago, Laidlaw said, to give his golf staff and area golfers a chance to give back to the community.

“It’s been a real labor of love,” he said. “It’s become a moral imperative to do the tournament every year.”

“It’s one of our two biggest fundraisers,” said Kris Nordholz, chairman of the gala, “and it’s a good event in terms of visibility.”

Laidlaw said he settled on the Boys & Girls Clubs as the beneficiary of the golf tournament after talking with Alan Hope, the publisher of Lakeside on Lanier.

“We wanted to do it for the kids, and we decided it was the best pick of the charities,” Laidlaw said.

The Helping Hands Award recognizes extraordinary efforts to support the Boys & Girls Clubs, either in terms of consistent financial support, long-term service or contribution of time.

Former Atlanta Falcons kicker and all-time National Football League leading scorer Morten Andersen was the keynote speaker for the gala.

“In his post-football career, he’s been very involved with youth organizations, so he was a natural choice,” Nordholz said.

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