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Gala Raises $3M+ for Boys & Girls Clubs
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix held its 17th annual “Today’s Kids, Tomorrow’s Stars” gala at the Arizona Biltmore earlier this month.
The March 11 event honored Diane and Bruce Halle and the Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation with a “Champions for Collective Change Award” for being a collaborative charitable resource for the club and the greater community.
The event raised record-breaking net proceeds of $3.1 million to maintain after-school and summer programs for more than 27,000 youth and teens at 13 clubs in Phoenix and the West Valley.
Highlights from the event:
• A bidding frenzy with the Halles set the stage for a live auction that included a travel package via private jet to Napa Valley and Meadowood luxury resort which sold twice for $60,000
• A stay at a private home in Newport Beach, Calif., sold four times – each for $45,000
• A trip to New York City including tickets to the Broadway hit, “Hamilton: An American Musical,” a Lady Gaga concert, and the U.S. Open Championship sold for $90,000
• Buzz Sands and Sands Chevrolet continued their legacy of generosity by donating several live auction items, including a 2018 Chevy Tahoe or Corvette.
The night also included a celebration of 13 Club Youth of the Year candidates who have been on a 16-week journey of team building, relationship and leadership development, presentation skills, and Toastmasters training.
The Ed Robson Family Branch’s Leonel Cano Leon ultimately took home the title of “Youth of the Year.” Leonel, also known as Leo, has been a dedicated member to the Ed Robson Family Branch since it first opened its doors in 2008. Leo participates in all opportunities offered at his Club, and inspires the younger mem-bers by teaching art and dance, as well as coaching soccer. He plans to attend Grand Canyon University and aspires to be a visual artist for Disney or Marvel Studios.
The event educated attendees about the importance of donating. A recent study, conducted by the Seidman Research Institute and W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, established that every dollar invested in Boys & Girls Club of Metro Phoenix returns $18.22 in economic benefits to the community.
“Our clubs provide a safe haven after school by offering nutritious snacks and meals, equipment and activities to stay fit, and life-changing leadership and educational programs,” said Chief Executive Officer Marcia Mintz. “And with even more kids coming through our doors, the proceeds raised from our Stars event are critical to keeping our clubs available to youth and teens just like Leo.”