Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The 2017 Magic Moments Gala

On April 7th, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Minnesota held our annual Magic Moments Gala. We’re happy to report that this year’s event was a great success!
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Attended by supporters around the community, we filled the River’s Edge Convention Center with hundreds of kind-hearted people concerned about the youth in our community. Local vendors and businesses supplied beverages and donated items to our silent and live auctions. Volunteers sold raffle tickets, and guests were even treated to a vocal performance.

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After the silent auction closed, the evening began with a welcome greeting from Debbie Clausen and Julie McHugh, co-chairs of the event. Emcee, author, and co-founder of Top 20 Training Willow Sweeney spoke throughout the night about a mentor’s importance.

 
After a delicious meal, Willow Sweeney presented entertainer Ashley DuBose to perform for the crowd. DuBose, whom you may recognize from season 5 of The Voice, spoke of her beginnings in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. As Ashley explained, she and her former Big, Donna, remain very close. DuBose even wore earrings that her Big had given her as a gift while she performed. Among the three songs she performed throughout the night, Ashley sang her latest release, Be You, which she explained was an introspective piece partially based on the lessons she learned as a Little with the BBBS Program.

 
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A video slide show of area Bigs and Littles played throughout the night on the big screens. Videos of this year’s award winners played, and an emotional Karl Johnson accepted the 2017 BriAnna Kruzel Growing Up Big Award. BriAnna’s mother, Tami was in attendance to present the award. Karl became a big in 10th grade and continued on until his sophomore year of college. He is currently finishing up an internship with the United Way and will be graduating this spring from SCSU with a degree in Social Work.

The live auction, presented by Andrew Imholte of Black Diamond Auctions featured some fantastic prizes this year:


  • Party on the Patio: A walking tour of the Fairview Gardens Greenhouse and Nursery and a catered meal and drinks provided by Famous Dave’s, Westside Liquor, and C&L Distributing 
  • A Day on the Lake for eight people: Pontoon Rental from Westres Marine and Sport, a $100 gift certificate to Ernie’s on Gull Lake, drinks provided by Bernick’s and snacks from Pepperidge Farm. 
  • A pig roast for 130 people: Roasted pig and sides prepared by Chef Geno Skaj of Trobec’s Bar and Grill, drinks from Westside Liquor and Bernick’s, and snacks from Pepperidge Farm. 
  • A Timberwolves Chairman’s Club package with accommodations for 12 people. All-inclusive dining with a world-renowned chef and a suite attendant and parking passes for three vehicles. Donated by Federated Insurance
  • A guided Muskie trip for 2 on Lake Alexander by Our North Muskie Guide Service. Dinner provided by The Landing at Lake Alexander
  • One week rental of a Luxurious Class C motor home from PleasureLand RV. Snacks were provided by Pepperidge Farm along with soda from Bernicks.

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As the last item up for bid, auctioneer Andrew Imholte surprised the crowd with TWO one-week RV rental packages. Following the live auction, Imholte opened the floor to the Fund-A-Dream donation. This year’s goal was $40,000, and we are happy to report that The Magic Moments Gala raised an amazing $185,00 for our mentoring program!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota would like to thank everyone who attended this year’s Gala. It is with the support and donations of our community that we are able to continue doing our work for the youth of central Minnesota.

Stay tuned for more information on other events taking place throughout the year. The Federated Challenge golf challenge will take place August 6th and 7th at the St. Paul River Centre, and our annual Golf Fore Kids’ Sake event will take place August 21st at Territory Golf Club. View photos from last year’s event and learn more info on our website.

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