Boys & Girls Club Benefit Bash is a success
The Blooming Prairie Servicemen’s Club was packed on Saturday night as community members attended the first Boys & Girls Club Benefit Bash to show their support for the organization.
The event featured both a silent and live auction, and all proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Blooming Prairie. That night, guests had an opportunity to play games of chance, enter raffles and bid on a wide variety of items at the Benefit Bash.
Lianna Doocy, Boys & Girls Club Advisory Board member, said that she was happy to see so many people attend the event. For the past five years, she’s helped organize the Club’s big fundraiser, which was formerly called the Boys & Girls Club Gala.
“The coolest thing this year is all of the unique auction items we have,” said Doocy. “We have some live and silent auction items we’ve never had before. Our goal is $30,000 this year so, hopefully, we’ll reach that.”
The Benefit Bash also offered an opportunity for youth to have a party of their own. During the live auction at the Servicemen’s Club, school-aged children were invited to attend a “VIP Kids’ Party” at the Boys & Girls Club of Blooming Prairie.
“We’re super excited for the Kids’ VIP Party,” Doocy said. “The kids will get to go and have their own little gig down at the Boys & Girls Club. For those who aren’t members of the Boys & Girls Club, they can go and experience the Club and see what it’s all about.”
This, said Doocy, may even encourage some kids to consider joining the Club. “That could increase enrollment numbers, as well,” she said. “That’s one of our big goals this year.”
Advisory Board Member Angie Carlson spoke to guests about the organization and all it offers local youth. “If you haven’t been into the Boys & Girls Club, I encourage you to stop in and check it out,” she said. “It’s a great place for our kids to go after school or during the summer. We’re very fortunate to have this in our community.”
Carlson also took time to acknowledge each advisory board member, noting that some were new to the Board. “We have a lot of new members that are very passionate about it, and we’re setting some really great goals,” Carlson said.
During the Benefit Bash, Carlson also took a moment to introduce Marcy Sundine to all in attendance. Sundine and her family recently moved back to the Blooming Prairie area, and began working as the new Boys & Girls Club of Blooming Prairie’s Unit Director in January. “(She) has already done some awesome things and we just look forward to what she has for the future,” Carlson said, of Sundine.
Sundine, in turn, took time to recognize Doocy and Cheri Krejci, who worked hard to organize the 2016 Benefit Bash. Children from the Club made thank-you cards for both Doocy and Krejci and presented them during the Benefit Bash.
Advisory Board member the Rev. Charlie Leonard also presented two awards. First, he spoke about two local people who have made a big difference for the Boys & Girls Club of Blooming Prairie, George Ressler and his late wife, Tillie. Leonard recalled a conversation that took place many years ago. Leonard said that his friend, a successful businessman, shared a few words of wisdom.
“He said, ‘It is my time to give back in ways that will make the community I live in a better place for others, too.’ George and Tillie Ressler had come to know this same thing many years ago, as well,” said Leonard. “And, this past year, they decided to support this community in significant ways that would make where they live a better place for the generations to come. The Blooming Prairie Boys & Girls Club was one of those places they felt was making their community a better place to live.”
Although George was unable to attend the event, Leonard announced that George and Tillie were the 2015 Super Supporter Award.
Leonard also presented the 2015 Hero Award to Davin Johnson, who has also been a strong supporter of the Club. Leonard described Johnson as an “I can do that kind of person.” Johnson has helped provide guidance with several projects at the Club facility.
Leonard spoke about Johnson’s willingness to help install an epoxy floor at the Club. “He and his crew went to work, not knowing how long this project would take, and they put in many, many hours to complete the task,” said Leonard. “When he was done, I asked him for an invoice so we could pay him for his work and expertise, to which he casually said, ‘I’ve got it covered.’”
Johnson, said Leonard, also helped paint the building – again, for no cost. On the night of the Benefit Bash, Leonard presented Johnson with the 2015 Hero Award, for “being a hero at the Boys & Girls Club.”