The gym at the Merced County Boys & Girls Club in downtown Merced was filled to the max with supporters on Friday night for the club’s annual fundraising dinner.
Board President Rosa Kindred-Winzer led the night filled with fine dining, lively live auctions, and special speeches. A young member of the club, Alejandro Maldonado, spoke about the Work Readiness Program and the Gustine Summer Camp. One of the themes of the night had to do with the steady expansion of the club’s activities to other areas of the county, including the West Side.
The club’s Chief Executive Officer See Lee spoke about how great futures start at the youth center.
“Since 2016, we have enrolled more than 5,700 club members,” Lee said. “That’s about a thousand members a year. And this year, we are projected to surpass that because as of today we have 909 active members, surpassing our highest enrollment in 2019 of 818 members.
“This summer, we served 443 students, 19 additional high school students who completed our work readiness and paid internship program earning about $40,000 that went to support their families, our local economy, or better yet, into an account at one of the banks here tonight.
“We partnered with over 20 community agencies and businesses, many of whom are in this room tonight, so our kids can feel a sense of connection, belonging and pride in our community.”