Alamosa - The Boys and Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley’s annual fundraising gala went completely virtual this year and nearly met their $40,000 goal.
Normally the annual gala, meant to fundraise and thank donors, is a lively night where people dress up, mingle, and participate in the entire event in-person. There are performances, a silent auction, and, of course, a lot of food.
However, this year’s gala looked a little different.
With COVID restrictions, the BGCSLV wasn’t able to bring so many people together in-person. But thanks to today’s technology, they could bring their audience together virtually.
The Saturday event began at 5:30 pm, with a handful of staff members bustling around beforehand to get everything ready. The majority of the evening was filmed from inside the BGCSLV along with a few pre-recorded videos and people joining in via livestream. All tech coordination was led by Adams State’s web application developer, Mike Henderson.
People could join for free and watch the livestream over Facebook or Youtube from their homes.
In hopes of increasing engagement and enthusiasm, the club also sold watch party boxes which contained beer or wine along with a gift certificate to a local restaurant. The aim was to have people enjoy the gala from home just as much as they would have in years past.
With two cameras on him the entire evening, past social-emotional learning director, Vince Alcon, emceed the gala with energy.
Despite a few technology issues in the beginning, and this being BGCSLV’s first virtual event, the evening was diverting and went well.
The first entertainment to perform was Ol’ Scratch, an Alamosa band. Later, there were performances from Buddy Busser, who also did a Q&A with Alcon. Busser was a past member of the BGCSLV who is now a rap artist living in Seattle.
Another exciting aspect of the gala was artist, Arleigh Johnson’s, live painting. He worked on a rendition of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night and audience members were able to see his progress throughout the evening.
Trivia questions with prizes donated from local businesses were also peppered into the night, with the last winner taking home Johnson’s painting.
Two fundraising milestones were reached during the event, including one where BGCSLV staff were pied in the face by members and another where board member, Kristina Daniel, had ice water poured over her head.
In the end, the virtual gala brought in almost $40,000 for the club.
The event was generously sponsored by Alamosa State Bank, Valley Wide Health Systems, San Luis Valley Health, CIA Leavitt Insurance Agency, Van Iwaarden Builders, Rio Grande Savings and Loan, Wall, Smith, Bateman Inc., Husmann Plumbing, and San Luis Federal.
For those who missed the event but still want to contribute, you can visit the BGCSLV website for more information on how to donate. If you would also like to see the recorded broadcast, you can watch the video on BGCSLV’s Youtube page.