Successful gala for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland
It is no cliiche’ that children are our future, and northlanders who know that to be true came together Thursday evening to make an impact in the lives of kids.
The annnual gala for the Boys and Girls clubs of the Northland was held at Greysolon plaza. Guests heard inspiring stories from northland youth who told the audience how the Boys and Girls clubs changed, and in some cases even saved their lives.
Since 1971, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Northland has helped countless youth find a safe,positive place to engage in a variety of high-impact programs and activities, all with the goal of empowering them to reach their full potential.
Guests at the gala also enjoyed a night of food, drinks, entertainment and auctions which by the end of the night helped raise more than $148,000.
A majority of the youth served by the Boys and Girls Clubs do not have support at home, least of all for academics. Club staff work to break down barriers to academic and educational resources and fill the gap between home and school by building skills to combat key issues like lack of focus, poor nutrition and high stress or frustration levels.
This year’s gala chair was Bethany Owen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Allete, Inc. Owen told the audience she is proud of, and grateful for the work the clubs do across our region. “I recently visited the two Duluth clubs and got to meet John and Trevor who run those clubs and hear their passion for the work they do and see their connection to the youth they serve.” Owen said, adding “They are role models and mentors for all the kids in the clubs and its wonderful to see.”
Due to rising need for these kinds of services in the northland, the Boys and Girls Clubs have grown, expanding from an organization of three branches to a regional network of six clubs in three counties. There are two branches in Duluth, one branch in Superior, one branch in Grand Rapids, one branch in Coleraine and one branch in Hibbing.
Membership in the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Northland is available to all youth ages 6 through 18. While the approximate annual cost to serve each child is more than $1,000, the annual cost for membership cost is only $20, however no child is turned away due to inability to pay.
Additionally, since 1978, the clubs have provided more than $500,000 in scholarships to club members for help with college and post-secondary education.