Few locations in the Golden Isles prove better for kicking off the summer season and supporting a local cause than Village Creek Landing.

The event space provides a scenic backdrop of marshes and waterways at the north end of the island. And it will be the setting of the upcoming STARgazing Low Country Boil, a fundraiser for STAR of Coastal Georgia.

The event will include live music and iconic Southern fare, and money raised will support the local nonprofit, which offers career and job readiness programs for adults in the area.

STAR will host the third annual fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. May 19.

“It’s coastal casual featuring food by Mr. Shuck’s Seafood, live music by Hot Banana Coffee, and our highly sought after ‘Crazy Pants’ contest for men, who will be crowed STAR’s Crazy Pants Shrimp King,” says Markisha Butler, executive director of STAR.

STAR of Coastal Georgia’s mission is to educate and empower members in the coastal community with the foundational skills needed to thrive personally and professionally. 

The organization offers a variety of courses to adults and young adults, including comprehensive training programs and other types of workshops.

“This year, STAR is celebrating 26 years of transformational change,” Butler says. “We have a signature Employment Readiness Program, which is a four-week program, our new teen financial literacy, teen employment bootcamp, senior STAR scholars program, which is a computer program for seniors, and a lunch and learn series on various employability topics.”

This fundraiser will ensure those programs can continue benefiting the Golden Isles community, Butler says.

“Funds raised will help us to continue these programs and develop new programs which would further our mission of educating and empowering individuals in our community,” she says.

STAR of Coastal Georgia, previously known as the STAR Foundation, traces its roots back to 1996, when Wally and Katie Orrel and Ellen Murphy, Katie’s sister, grew worried about the growing number of technology-focused jobs that required computer knowledge many adults in the community did not have.

They approached the Brunswick Housing Authority with the offer to teach a computer literacy class in hopes of helping housing authority residents have access to better paying jobs. STAR’s work began there.

The annual fundraiser celebrates the organization’s long history in the community while paving the way for future successes.

Workforce development is a critical issue in the Golden Isles, and many local nonprofits, businesses, and civic organizations collaborate to ensure the local workforce is able to thrive.

“The low country boil is a way to bring people together and share in a collective win,” Butler says. “As we think about workforce development, we must reimagine our workforce. By training individuals who are justice impacted, encouraging women to seek non-traditional occupations, and reaching those who have untapped talent, we are then able to build our workforce pipeline and ultimately better our community.”

Numerous sponsors make the event possible each year, she says, and donations ensure that STAR continues helping residents reach their potential and contributing to the health of the overall workforce in Glynn County.

“This event could not be held if it wasn’t for the donations and sponsorships of community individuals and businesses who believe in the great work that STAR has been providing for over 26 years,” Butler says.

“At STAR, we are intentional about addressing the needs of the current and future workforce of the community.”

Tickets for the event cost $85 per person or $150 for a couple. Sponsorship packages range from $5,000-$10,000.

More information can be found at www.starofcoastalga.org.