The 8th Annual Reach for the Stars Dinner and Auction was truly an exceptional, one-of-a-kind evening for the organization’s donors and supporters. The event is held each February to benefit the Boys & Girls Club’s summer programs provided to youth in the Fond du Lac community. Presented by Grande Cheese and hosted at the Holiday Inn Conference Center, Reach for the Stars included wonderful hors d'oeuvres, a classy dinner, exciting auction and raffle packages, an unforgettable special program, high energy entertainment and an inspiring speech from the Boys & Girls Club’s 2016 Youth of the Year, Isabel McLeod. As she spoke about her experiences, Isabel shared that she moved to Fond du Lac from a small town in Washington, and had trouble making new friends. The Boys & Girls Club changed that, allowing her to gain confidence, a place where she felt safe, acceptance and support from everyone, no matter what.
Over 230 people attended the dinner, an incredible 20% increase over the 2015 event. Guests were treated to a special program highlighting an interview panel of four outstanding Club Alumni members, including Amy Guell, Blayne Meyer, Cordell Ashford and Eric Pantojas. The Alumni members spoke candidly about their past experiences as a Club kid and how the organization contributed to their success as young adults. Coupled with numerous sponsorships from local businesses, the Reach for the Stars event raised over $73,000 in support of summer programs. This event marked the largest single fundraising event in the history of the organization.
A significant portion of the proceeds raised at the event stemmed from the Summer Scholarship Promotion, boosted when doors to the dining room opened and 100 Club kids donned in colorful Boys & Girls Club t-shirts marched in to the surprise and awe of the attendees. This resulted in a grand total of 130 sponsored memberships for the upcoming summer program. Of the outpouring of support, Dan Hebel, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac stated, “Our community cares deeply about the lives and success of our children, simple as that. Donors of the Boys & Girls Club have accepted the challenge to ensure that all kids in our community have a second home to call their own. We are proud to be at the forefront of our community’s commitment to improving the lives of children, especially those who need us most.”
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!
The Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac held its second annual SPELL for Great Futures team spelling bee on October 14th, 2015. Business and community leaders were randomly teamed up with Club members to compete in this exciting, Jurassic World themed event. Presented by Society Insurance and coupled with other numerous sponsorships from local businesses, the event raised over $25,000 to directly support the Club’s academic programs.
Over 170 people attended the event and were treated to a special introduction highlighting the 24 teams competing in the spelling bee, comprised of a total of 72 participants.
Placing third in the spelling bee was Jacob Huempfner (ACH Foam Technologies), Nevaeh Neal and Gus Price. Coming in second place was Kevin Miller (Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts), Kendra Whitty and Brielle Coffey. And placing first was Kim Laws (Fond du Lac Family YMCA), Stephanie Salas and Phantazia Alvarado. Laws stated, “I found the entire experience of working with Phantazia and Stephanie to be incredibly fun and rewarding; they are both amazing girls. The determination and enthusiasm of all the kids was contagious and I am so honored to have been part of this event. I look forward to participating again next year!”
Following the competition, attendees were invited to a reception in the Club’s Teen Center featuring a photo booth with a giant hand-painted “Jurassic World” backdrop and 1,500 boneless wings courtesy of Buffalo Wild Wings.
Tiffany Heim, Director of Resource Development for the Boys & Girls Club stated, “This event is truly a fantastic way to expose community leaders to the incredible young people we serve at the Club. It also provides the opportunity for our youth to interact in an exciting way with wonderful adults in our community who truly believe in the mission and vision of our organization. What a great experience for everyone involved!”