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Great food and great wine along with very generous supporters made Boys & Girls Clubs event a big success.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast is thrilled with the success of their Swirls, Sips and Sunflowers fundraiser held Saturday, September 11 at the Paso Robles Event Center. This event  was the result of hard work and perseverance of staff and a devoted volunteer committee who even had to pivot at the last minute, changing locations to an outdoor venue rather than let rising Covid numbers thwart their plans. “As much as this event is necessary to raise important funds for our kids, it was also a celebration for all that we have accomplished during these very difficult times. Our donors and supporters planning to attend the event needed to be celebrated and thanked so the thought of cancelling was just not an option,” says Kathryn Scott, Director of Events for Boys & Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast.  

With a four-course tasting menu featuring delights like a roasted beet popsicle  as an amuse bouche, luscious braised short ribs with a one of a kind potato and shitake gratin as the main course prepared by Chef Jeffrey Scott accompanied by the perfect wine pairings donated by J. Lohr and Pear Valley Estate wines, respectively, guests could not have asked for a tastier evening. Beer drinkers were not left out thanks to a very generous donation of a variety of wines from Firestone Walker Brewing Company.   Dining under the massive oak trees at the Paso Robles Event Center provided a lovely venue for casual celebration.  The live auction featured fabulous items like trips, dinners, and unique things like a wild boar hunt or wine tasting via helicopter ride!  But the event clearly turned on the passionate speech by Leo Castillo, father of three Club members  who recounted how Boys & Girls Clubs have made a huge impact in his life and the life of his children.  After losing one of his children to cancer this Summer, he acknowledged that the place Boys & Girls Clubs have in his family’s life has changed: the continuous support by Club staff to his other children and himself after this tragedy, made him realize that membership in Boys & Girls Clubs really does bring the love, support and compassion all children—and their families need.  More than just an afterschool program, Boys & Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast is truly an organization that wraps children in safety, love, and mentorship. He challenged all attendees to support the cause of the organization because, in his experience, there is no other place doing more for kids in our area.  

Auctioneer, Todd Ventura, and Mistress of Ceremonies, Gina Fitzpatrick were both clearly moved and commented on the bravery Mr. Castillo showed in sharing his story. Mr. Ventura went on to say that in all of his years as a professional auctioneer he had never heard a more compelling story of support from an organization. He also went on to say that one of his dreams was to auctioneer an event that had at least a 50% participation in the Fund-A-Need portion of an event. Happily, Mr. Ventura’s dream came true because that night, 51% of attendees contributed a donation which brought in a total of $46,150 during that portion. Overall, the event raised over $155,000 to serve the children of the Central Coast.  Well over the initial fundraising goal, Michael Boyer, CEO shares “This organization has done more than most during an unprecedented time of loss, grief and fear.  We have greatly increased our budget in order to serve kids through all day programming during the pandemic. We finished a capital campaign to build a much-needed new facility in Paso Robles, and we have embarked on an ambitious 5-year Strategic Plan to further increase our budget and expand to 20+ Club sites throughout the Central Coast.”  Mr. Boyer confirmed to attendees that the Club is stronger than ever and by supporting the organization, they are ensuring that all children, especially the ones that need them most, will have access to services to help them succeed, feel safe, and flourish.

Major supporters of the event include Pear Valley Winery, Pacific Premier Bank, JED Nicholson, Attorney at Law, Connect Home Loans, and Nielsen & Associates Insurance Services. 

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