During the second week of November, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias (BGCS) staff, board, sponsors and supporters congregated at the Visalia Country Club for the annual Social Swirl Gala & Golf Classic Fundraiser, which raised a net total of $120,000.

Golfers gathered for the tournament the morning of Nov. 8 and, after a sunny day on the golf course, 10 closest-to-the-hole finalists were given the opportunity to shoot a hole in one for a prize — a beautiful boat sponsored by Chad Borba with MasterCraft. The next evening, golfers and guests reconvened at the beautifully renovated Country Club facility, where exquisite silent auction items filled the foyer and a customary “giving tree” (a tree decorated with paper slips indicating a need of the club) stood at the entrance of the dining room.

Guests were presented with a video produced especially for the event — a short testimonial told by Levi, a 7-year-old Strathmore club member, and his loving parents. In the video, he says, “I think my parents are awesome for letting me come to this club.[…] It’s just like my second home.” For a moment, everyone was silent. Teary eyes could be spotted throughout the audience.

BGCS Executive Director Galen Quenzer made his way onstage and expressed his gratitude for both the guests and his team, then handed the mic over to Basil Perch, an original BGCS board member. Perch, overwhelmed with emotion, addressed the audience, saying, “What they do for the kids — no other organization in Tulare County does what the Boys & Girls Clubs do.”

BGCS would like to recognize Bill Adams, board president and chair for the Golf Classic, and Oriana Groppetti, chair for the gala. Groppetti is a dedicated BGCS board member and has organized the gala for 10 consecutive years.

“The mission of the Social Swirl is to get a group of people together that are individually capable of doing a lot of good, but collectively come together to help thousands of children — the impact becomes exponential,” Groppetti said. “I’ve had a hand in organizing this event for the last decade and I’m always amazed at the generosity of our Boys & Girls Club supporters. We’re very fortunate to live in a community where we can rally this level of support year after year.” 

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias is focused on helping all young people, especially those who need us most, to become responsible, caring and productive members of society. Boys & Girls Clubs were established in Tulare County in the 1990s when Exeter and Visalia community leaders responded to the need for a positive place for local youth to spend free time after school. Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sequoias serves 1,000 kids per day at 14 clubs throughout Tulare County. Clubs provide a wide span of activities for local youth, varying from STEM to sports.

Find BGCS online at bgcsequoias.org.