Boys & Girls Clubs fundraiser a huge success | NevadaAppeal.com

Boys & Girls Clubs fundraiser a huge success

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Bill Calhoun raises a paddle during the live auction, one of the most popular and enduring events at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada Luau each year. The live auction portion of the event raised well over $60,000 this year.

The 24th annual Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada Luau, the Clubs' main fundraiser of the year, collected approximately 17 percent of its overall operating costs for the organization's Carson City and Carson Valley locations. The event featured live music, dinner and no-host bar along with both live and silent auctions.

The Clubs' five locations cost an estimated $1.7 million to run. Luau income peaked in 2007 at $290,000, then dropped dramatically through the economic downturn, climbing again from 2008 until last year when the Clubs raised $269,000, a dramatic increase over 2015. Luau proceeds in 2017 rose 5 percent over 2016, which will cover 406 Clubs members of the 2,200 kids the Clubs will serve this year.

Remaining operational and program funding comes from grants, other fundraising efforts and donations.

"We serve more than 2,200 children each year between Carson City and Carson Valley Clubhouse members and an additional 3,500 kids through community outreach," Katie Leao, chief professional officer for the Clubs, said. "We provide a safe, fun environment after school and during the summer, where kids receive help with homework, snacks and some meals and education in healthy lifestyles, leadership and character."

Leao said 80 percent of Clubs kids are ages 12 and under, and the Clubs serve more than 400 teens. More than 40 percent of their population qualifies for free or reduced lunch and many live in single parent households.

"Our Club members represent every demographic in Carson City and our impact is strong," she said. "Nearly all of our teens expect to graduate from high school and two-thirds expect to go on to post-secondary education of some kind. Three-quarters of our kids give back to the community through volunteer work at least once a month, and many of our older members mentor younger kids."

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Leao said she and the Clubs' board of directors, led by Andie Wilson of NAI Alliance, and the Carson Valley community council work to raise money all year long.

"We are eternally grateful for the generosity of our board, council and community partners," she said. "Without all of them, we could not provide the positive influence, leadership training and safety we give the youth of our region."

This year's list of sponsors and major donors to the Luau include Bodine's Casino, The Change Place, Allison MacKenzie, Beglin Orthodontics, Carson Valley Accounting, City National Bank, GE Energy, Max Casino, McDonald's, Miles Construction, Sierra Nevada Media Group, VT Williams & Associates, Alsco, Boys & Girls Clubs of Truckee Meadows, Capital Beverage, Carson City BBQ, Change Companies, Jimmy John's, Model Dairy, Red's Old 395 Grill and Western Nevada Supply.

"Many, many thanks to our volunteers, staff and the auction committee members, all of whom are often the unsung heroes of our event each year," Leao said.

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