By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News
During the evening of Saturday, June 11, the Tulalip Resort Casino’s Orca Ballroom was home to the 18th Annual Tulalip Boys and Girls Club “It’s for the Kids” Auction. The fundraising event is all about giving donors and community members, the opportunity to take action for the benefit of the Tulalip community, specifically the hundreds of children who daily attend and depend on the services of ‘the Club’, as it’s affectionately been dubbed.
“The Boys and Girls Club is a special place for Tulalip. This year we celebrate our auction with the theme, ‘Taking Action for the Community’,” stated auction chair Rochelle Lubbers. “The Club lies in the heart of our reservation and in many ways is the heart of our community. Our working moms, dads, aunties, uncles, and grandparents rely on the Club to be a safe place where our children can be nurtured when they are not at home. Our family bonds in Tulalip are strong, the Club is an extension to that; with the children seeing staff as surrogate aunts, uncles, or grandparents”
The Tulalip Boys & Girls Club is the first club if it’s kind to be built on tribal land in Washington. Established in 1995, 2016 marks twenty-one years of commitment to the community. The Club promotes the health, social, educational, vocational and character development of boys and girls. Through before and after school programs, it aims to help young people improve their lives by building self-esteem, developing values, and teaching skills during critical periods of growth.
Serving as a model for those working to improve the lives of young people in the surrounding communities, the Club is the primary beneficiary of the annual fundraising auction. With each auction building off the success of the previous years, the Club has not only been able to sustain services, but to likewise complete much needed campus expansions that add additional learning and activity space. This includes spaces like the all new Computer Learning Center built in 2014 that allowed for our kids to stay on par with the area’s best school when it comes to computer technology.
“Each year we come together and raise money that will improve our club in ways that would not be possible without the support of our dear ‘Friends of the Club’. The learning, mentoring, playing, and team building that currently happens on a daily basis has a huge impact on our children, but there is so much more we could do,” continued Rochelle. “Tulalip is taking a hard look at our gaps and realizing that teens continue to struggle and need more places where they feel safe, nourished, and comfortable. This year the Club is raising money to meet those needs and plan a space for our teens at a critical time in their development. We want our teens to stick around after their grade school years and mentor our children, but they need a space that fulfills their teen lifestyle; technology and creativity.”
At the auction, there was an initial goal to raise $75,000 to build a multimedia center specifically tailored to the teen lifestyle. Thanks to the participation and contributions of those in attendance the $75,000 goal was easily surpassed and a total of $91,250 was raised for the future multimedia teen center.
That was just the beginning of an evening that saw previous auction records broken. It was announced that with more than 650 generous and caring people in attendance, the auction had set a new record for in-house attendance. Then came the biggie; with a record high in attendance came a record high in fundraising. It can safely be said that with sponsorships included this year’s event raised just under $400,000, which is nearly $75,000 more than last year’s event.
“We are extremely proud of the efforts of the auction committee, the Club, our sponsors, and all those that turned out to support the Club on Saturday night,” says Sam Askew, Tulalip Resort General Manager. “John Curley brought a level of energy that we’ve not have had before and with that came new opportunities for bidding excitement and ultimately more funds going to support our kids. I’d also like to personally thank all those that donated. Whether it was time, effort, items or funds, YOU make a difference! Thank you.”
On behalf of the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club, the Tulalip Tribes thanks everyone who contributed to the success of the 18th annual auction. The outpouring of support received each year from sponsors and volunteers is quite overwhelming. As in years past, the funds raised from the auction will ensure that our club not only continues to provide, but improves upon, quality programs in a fun, safe and positive environment that make it such a positive place for kids to attend.
Contact Micheal Rios, firstname.lastname@example.org