26th Annual Boys & Girls Club Sweetheart Gala & Auction a Big Success!
Love was in the air at the 26th Annual Boys & Girls Club Sweetheart Gala! From the moment guests arrived, welcomed by teens from the Club and entered through the “magic heart”, everyone knew this was a special night. The buzz was everywhere as the crowd of over 330 tuxedo clad party goers mingled and raved about the event.
The event, co-chaired by Marchelle Carleton and Keith Hughes, raised more than $185,000 in net proceeds for the Club’s after school enrichment and educational programs. “The highlight of our evening”, said Dave Pier, Executive Director, “was the event’s Fund a Need, which raised over $88,000 for the Club’s summer camp programs.” “With this money”, said Pier, “this year’s summer programs will be enhanced by specialty camps that will include athletic clinics, cooking, a new rock climbing wall and science classes.” The Sweetheart Gala & Auction is the Club’s biggest fundraising event of the year and funds approximately 14% of the Clubs operating budget.
Jessica Contreras, the Club’s 2010 Youth of the Year, mesmerized the crowd with her heartwarming speech that drew a standing ovation. Jessica is involved in the Club’s leadership and community service group, the Keystone Club as well as the College Bound program.
Lise Sonnen, a long time supporter of the Boys & Girls Club presented this year’s “Sweetheart Award” to philanthropist Bruce Cohn. Lise’s wit and humor entertained the crowd with excerpts from Bruce’s past while delivering the presentation. Over the years Cohn has been able to raise over 5 million dollars for various local and national charities including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley through the annual B.R. Cohn Charity Events Fall Music Festival.
The Boys & Girls Club is the only place in the Valley that offers youth ages 6 to 18 safe, supervised, state-of-the art facilities where, every day after school, they can learn the skills they need to get ahead in the world. The Club serves over 500 youth every day of the week at its five sites