Fundraiser Shows Public's Commitment to Boys & Girls Club

Board members of the Boys & Girls Club of Menifee Valley were joined by Perris Club board members at Saturday night's fundraiser.
Attendance and a show of commitment at a major fundraiser Saturday night showed once again the confidence of board members that the Boys & Girls Club of Menifee Valley will open in the next few months.

More than 100 people attended the group's "Hollywood Nights Red Carpet Gala" at the Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula. Board members of the club were joined by board members of the Boys & Girls Club of Perris, as well as community leaders and other members of the public. Funds were raised through admission fees, sponsorships and a live auction.

The amount raised is not yet available, but Board Chair Sue Kristjansson called the event a success and said she hopes the club can open by this summer.

"This puts the exclamation point on a long paragraph," she said. "Now we know we have support from the community."

Supporters of the club were disappointed by the City Council's decision Feb. 5 not to provide immediate funds to assist in the opening of the club. A request for $60,000 was denied by a 3-2 vote, with the stipulation that the request would be considered as part of next year's budget.

Kristjansson and her colleagues never gave up, however. After receiving clarification from the Boys & Girls Club corporate office about the funds needed to open, the group began advertising for an executive director and went ahead with plans for the fundraiser.

"We have a fair amount of money," said Kristjansson, who reported $80,000 in funding and the promise of grant money before the fundraiser. "The council's decision will hamper us noticeably, but the club will open. It's just a matter of when."

Kristjansson said the selection of an executive director could come as early as next week for the club, which will operate out of the former Menifee Elementary School on Garbani Road. Individuals may donate to the program through the club's website.


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