The Importance Of Community Involvement
Darla Hernandez Lippert Changing Lives One Charity At A Time
Darla Hernandez Lippert’s description of herself is an exercise in simplicity: “I’m a wife and mother who’s truly passionate about charitable work.” It’s when Darla goes on to fill in the spaces that surround that description that it becomes evident that this passion extends to making a significant difference to the community. It’s also evident in speaking with her for just a few minutes that she epitomizes the definition she gives of a SASSY woman – “To me, a SASSY woman is a woman who’s energetic, full of life and joy. She’s a woman who believes that anything is possible.” They are definitely words that could be used to describe Darla.
If Darla’s name and face are familiar, it may be because you’ve seen her in her professional role on the air at WSBT-TV. She came to the Michiana area after working in TV news in Colorado and Michigan. Currently, she’s a special projects reporter whose work includes “Moms First” weekly reports. The subjects she covers for Moms First primarily involve children and health; they give her a voice in helping make the community a better place to live, particularly for kids. She says that part of her dedication is a way for her to set an example for her four own children.
This passion for improving the community with kids in mind goes beyond her work on television. Along with her husband, Jason, Darla has been involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Goshen in a variety of roles for the past 10 years. She describes the club as a place where “kids can dream and become successful. They get positive reinforcement there; it’s a place that just pours in love.”
Darla has served in a variety of roles, each with an eye to helping as many kids as possible. She’s involved with the Goshen club’s “club kid of the year” as a judge and then working with the student to prepare his or her essay for the national competition.
She noted, “We know what we’re doing at the club makes a difference. We’ve had kids there say, ‘I wouldn’t be in school if it wasn’t for the club,’ or ‘I would never have thought about going to college, if I hadn’t started coming here.’ Currently the club has approximately 1,200 members and serves about 400 kids each day.”
Darla has also given career planning talks and served on the auction committee board, while Jason serves on the club’s board of directors. “My husband and I felt that we could make a greater impact on a larger scale for the club by joining together to help with the club’s fundraising efforts,” she said.
The Goshen Boys and Girls Club auction, which will be held on May 6th this year at the RV Hall of Fame in Elkhart, is a showcase non-profit fundraising event. In fact, this event typically raises the club’s entire operating budget for a year in just one night. The organizing committee is dedicated to securing unique auction items – this year, one of those include Lady Gaga concert tickets.
As a way of summing up the work done by the Boys and Girls Club, Darla said, “You can grow seeds with hate and with fear. Or you can grow them with love and positivity – that’s what this club does and the results are there to see.”
In addition to the Boys and Girls Club of Goshen, Darla and Jason Lippert support a number of other area organizations including the Center for the Homeless, Granger Community Church, La Casa de Amistad and United Cancer Services of Elkhart County. It’s part of the couple’s ability to put their faith into action. “Our job is to serve others,” Darla noted. “It’s what God wants us to do – we can set an example and leave a legacy of caring for our kids.”
Boys and Girls Club of Goshen “Bids for Kids” May 6th
The Boys and Girls Club of Goshen “Bids for Kids" auction is one of the top five boys and girls club fundraisers out of 3500 clubs across the country. This one-of-a-kind auction consistently raises over $1 million dollars each year for the club and 100% of the proceeds go to the club.
The annual budget for the Goshen club is just over $1 million any funds raised over this amount are used to create new programs and adventures for the club’s kids each year – such as college campus visits, LEGO robotics, organized field trips to places like Washington DC. And after finding that many of the club kids were going home to a house with no food, the club serving the children dinner each day because of the money raised from the auction.
Finally, any extra funds go toward an endowment.
The “Bids for Kids” auction is truly unlike anything in the area. Featured items for this year’s auction include trips to Italy, Hawaii and Africa; private jet trips and NASCAR races with Jimmie Johnson and a Kurt Busch VIP meet and greet. In addition, there will be front-row concert seats and back stage passes to Lady Gaga and front row seats at a Bruno mars concert, just to mention a few items.
Each year, the auction committee strives to fill the event with new, exciting auction items – this year will be no different! The Boys and Girls Club of Goshen feels so fortunate to have the RV Hall of Fame filled with so many generous and giving hearts from the community for this event.
This year’s event organizers include:
Co-chairs: Jason Lippert and Michilah Grimes
Boys and Girls Club staff organizers: Matt Fischer and Jamee Holmes
Committee members: Stockton Schultz, Tom Sexton, Michael Gaeddert, Ross Gunden, Julie Bethel, Troy Eash, Jamie Schnur, Nick Fletcher and Kristen Lebaron