The Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac is excited to introduce our first annual "SPELL for Great Futures" team spelling bee event. This exciting, Hunger Games themed event will be held Thursday, October 9, 2014. It will involve the participation of business leaders in and around the Fond du Lac community as well as our very own Club members. Business leaders will be randomly teamed up with Club members via lottery selection to compete in this one of a kind, highly anticipated event. A large portion of the event's success will depend on corporate sponsorships and business leader participation.
Our Club currently serves nearly 1,200 children in the Fond du Lac community. We provide a safe, caring environment for children to learn, grow and reach their potential through our academic programs. Our overall goal, provided in strong partnership with the Fond du Lac School District, is to help our members find success in the following areas:
- Grade Progression
- School Attendance
- Reading and Math Proficiency
- Summer Learning Loss
- Expectations of Success
The Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac summer program was started almost a decade ago and has been funded by federal grant dollars. We estimate that our summer program has served over 3,000 Fond du Lac County children between the ages of 6-18 during those ten years. 2011 was the last summer that we could receive federal funding to support our summer program. We no longer have access to those federal grant funds that supported the program in the past. Our solution for sustainability has been to slightly increase the fees that families pay for the program so that those who can afford to help cover the cost of the programs can do so through the fee they pay, and at the same time we will continue to provide financial assistance through the Sadoff & Rudoy Summer Scholarship Fund for families in financial distress.
Our mission is to serve those who need us most and creating a fee structure that would completely offset the cost of summer programs would be prohibitive to the vast majority of the children that we serve. A $40,000 gap exists between the real cost of providing our programs and the fees that we collect. The Annual Reach for the Stars Dinner is part of our solution to eliminate that gap. For more information on the summer program, check out the Summer Program information page.
6th Annual Reach for the Stars Dinner and Auction Results
The 6th Annual Reach for the Stars Dinner was truly a night to remember. The event is held to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac, specifically, the summer programs provided to all youth in the Fond du Lac community. Hosted by Marian University, who was also the presenting sponsor for the event, Reach for the Stars included a tremendous dinner, a silent auction and live auction, an unforgettable speech, a special performance by a handful of teen Club members (CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RAP VIDEO) and jaw-dropping entertainment to wrap up the evening. Coupled with numerous sponsorships from local businesses, the Reach for the Stars event raised over $50,000 in support of summer programs. Event Committee member and Board member Alexandra Smith said, “It was a wonderful night full of heartfelt giving to the Boys and Girls Club of Fond du Lac.”
This event marked the largest single fundraising event in the history of the organization. Carey Gardin, Executive Assistant to the President of Marian University stated, “It was a privilege for Marian University to host the Reach for the Stars event again this year. The children in our area are truly blessed to have the support of local community members. The Boys and Girls Club continues to provide outstanding programs and services that inspire young people to reach their highest potential.” Of the outpouring of support, Dan Hebel, Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac stated, “The energy and support from the event attendees is extremely inspiring. It is great to see how much the people of Fond du Lac support youth and families in need. Without them, we cannot achieve our mission.”
Over 170 people attended the dinner, and were treated to a special program highlighting the achievements of the Club. 2014 Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac Youth of the Year, Mia McDonald, captivated the crowd with an impassioned speech about the importance of the Boys & Girls Club in her life, and received a standing ovation by the entire audience. Of the speech, Katie Ulezelski, Teen Center Director for the Club stated, “Her speech was a touching representation of what the Club has meant to her. We are so proud of Mia and the goals she has set for herself despite the hardships she has faced.”
To finish off the evening, nationally renowned mentalist Christopher Carter had the crowd absolutely stunned, as he performed his mind-blowing talents. Of the entertainment, Pam Sippel, Johnsonville Unit Director, said, “Christopher put on a fantastic show for our event. He does this show all over the country, and it’s obvious why it is so incredibly successful. We were thrilled to have him!” Dr. James Sebert, Board member of the Club, added, “We are all still trying to figure out how in the world he could possibly know what someone wrote down on a piece of paper while he’s blind-folded with layers of cloth and duct tape; it was absolutely mind-boggling and so much fun!”
The success of this event would not have been possible without the effort of the sponsors who stepped up with generous support: Marian University, Mid-States Aluminum, Baker Cheese, Fox Valley Savings Bank, Agnesian HealthCare, Grande Cheeese, Badger Liquor, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Sunny 97-7, CD Smith, JF Ahern, The Commonwealth Companies, Holiday Automotive, BCI Burke, Twohig Flooring America and RC Insurance.
Click the video below to see the Club Rap!