Boys and Girls Club
The Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara (BGC) found a new and beautiful country venue, the Heartstone Ranch, in Carpinteria for its annual gala. This time the attire was – what else? Country chic! All the “cowgirls” and “cowboys” gathered on the terraced lawn amid dozens of rose bushes to toast 80 years of the BGC helping the youth of our town.
Music by the Jazz Villains kept the cocktail reception lively, while executive director Laurie Leis welcomed the guests. The silent auction was huge and displayed on tables all over the lawn. Then it was time to go down another terrace for a sunset dinner served at tables decorated with lemons and leaves.
Senator Hannah–Beth Jackson and Assemblywoman Monique Limon presented a joint resolution honoring BGC’s 80 years in the community accepted by senior vice president of Field Services John Miller. He told the audience, “We served 1,700 kids last year.” Monique mentioned that she went to the BGC growing up. Hannah-Beth knows that “The best way to keeps kids out of trouble, is to keep them busy.” That’s what BGC does.
Emcees were Janet Garufis and Andrew Firestone. Andrew did his usual at coaxing the bids for the live auction: a package deal to see The Voice on NBC, the fire station hosting a dinner for 10, or an electric bike from Story Bikes (an you don’t have to pedal). There was a paddle raise, and Janet presented a video and telling us how a group of firemen way back when started BGC for 6 to 18 year olds.
BGC engages with club membership at only $40 a year or 16 cents a day, which includes a snack and dinner. Every kid has a place to go after school. They empower through transformative programs including one-on-one tutoring, teen leadership programs, art and computer classes, plus sports. They elevate by giving young people the opportunity to be who they were meant to be. Our donations make all of this happen.
The evening was made possible by the event committee: Valerie Banks, David Beard, Brenda Blalock, Anthony Gomez, Katie Hoegh–Guldberg, Carolyn McCall, David McKeever, Laurie Leis, and Derek Swafford. You can call (805) 962-2382 for information or to donate.