The 9th Annual Reach for the Stars Dinner and Auction was truly an extraordinary, 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 a classy dinner, exciting auction packages, an unforgettable program, mind-blowing entertainment and inspiring speech from the Boys & Girls Club’s 2017 Youth of the Year, Autumn Smet.
As she spoke about her experiences, Smet stated that she started attending the Club just last year and quickly became acquainted with most of the members. Smet takes a lot of pride in being a good role model at the Club, and is also demonstrating her leadership skills as an employee working in the Teen Center at the snack bar. The Boys & Girls Club has not only been a fun and safe place for her to go after school with her younger brothers; it has become an incredible opportunity for her to shine.
Over 250 people attended the event, and guests were also treated to a special Alumni message from the Club’s 2010 Youth of the Year Brittany Hernandez. Hernandez spoke candidly about her past experiences as a Club kid and how the organization has contributed to her success as a young adult. Coupled with numerous sponsorships from local businesses, Reach for the Stars raised over $80,000 in support of summer programs. This event marked the largest single fundraising event in the history of the organization, with an 11 percent increase in both attendance and funds raised over last year’s event.
A significant portion of the proceeds raised at the event stemmed from the summer scholarship promotion, initiated when doors to the dining room opened and a large group of Club kids paraded in, each carrying bunches of blue and purple balloons, to encourage guests to help “lift our youth to new heights”. This resulted in a grand total of 134 sponsored memberships for the upcoming summer program. Of the overwhelming support, Tiffany Heim, Director of Resource Development for the Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac stated, “When you work behind the scenes to plan and execute an event that effectively conveys the vision and mission of the Club, it becomes incredibly evident just how much our community cares about the future of each and every one of our youth. The generosity is absolutely astounding. We are extremely proud to be at the forefront of our community’s commitment to helping our kids reach their full potential.”
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!
The Boys & Girls Club of Fond du Lac held its third annual SPELL for Great Futures team spelling bee on October 12th. Business and community leaders were randomly teamed up with Club members to compete in this magical, Alice Through the Looking Glass themed event. Presented by Society Insurance and coupled with other numerous sponsorships from local businesses, the event raised over $21,000 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 Kathy Loppnow (Michels Corporation), Janeth Carbajal and Walter Ruis. Coming in second place was Theresa Eimerman (Society Insurance), Stephanie Lopez and Wesley Baganz. And placing first was Amber Kilawee (Fond du Lac Area United Way), Ayden Heim and Byron Little (pictured below with trophy). Kilawee stated, “We didn't go in with the expectation of being the last team standing, but it certainly was a pleasant surprise and a moment the three of us won’t soon forget. It was truly an honor to participate with two outstanding kids. We encouraged each other throughout the evening with a ton of high fives and enjoyed working together. This event gives community stakeholders a unique opportunity to connect with Club youth in a way that touches each participant involved and positively impacts the entire organization.”
Following the competition, attendees were invited to a reception in the Club’s Teen Center featuring a photo booth with a giant hand-painted mirror backdrop and 1,500 boneless wings courtesy of Buffalo Wild Wings.
Click on the video below to learn more about this event...