Boys & Girls Club Serves Up Burgers for a Black Tie Crowd

Carl and Jan Siechert, Sandi Forgey and Laurie ArroyoChris and Barbara WoodRobin and Rich McCormicTim Delany, Susan Delany, Kelsey McCullough, and Tori and Mike McCulloughBoard member and auctioneer Simon Waters, Martha Vega, Event Chair David Blazek, Committee Chair Rick LieberMark Whitko, Ein Whitman, Jane Rorey, and Angela BlissGirelle Salas, 15, Blaire High School, Kharisma Taylor, 13, McKinley both volunteered from the Boys and Girls clubMinh Luu, Michael Macho, Pacific Region Youth of the Year Yossymar Rojas, and James LittlejohnBen and Janine Morovati with Maria and Jim GokeyBerkeley Harrison, Ellen Patch and Kristen HarrisonJoy Young, Ted Snyder, Judy Van Dyk, and Robb MillsSteve Hogen with the gracious home owner hostess Debbie LanniJames Granados, Board Member John Matthiessen, and J.D. LoverensleyChalrles Phillips, Eric and Cathryn Wood, Meline PhillipsJose Roman and Alayne SampsonAmbassador Cameron Munter, Marilyn Wyatt, Gretchen and David SeagerFrances Morrison, Katie Hult, Kjell Hult, and Susan DrumPeter Whitford and Patsy AultBill and Paula BergLauren and Matt Krieger, Bart Doll, Victoria and Mark EatonLewis Arroyo, Kim Ebner, Monica MunozJohn Clayton, Panna Delt, and Brian and Deborah SpaldingPauline Mauro and Melissa LindemulderJohn Clayton, Buzzy and Corey WaiteMario, Sandy, Rita and John DiazStephanie Ivler representing BienviendosBill and Patty WagnerAndrea Gibson and Gwyn ShamlinJennifer Berger, John Matthiessen, John Berger, Stephen Bennet and Jeehyun LeeJeehyun Lee and Mark KimAllen Sandler and Susan FernalyCouncilmember Gene Masuda with his wife JoannDavid Dicristofaro with Vice Mayor Jacque RobinsonMichele Doll, Stephanie Hall, and Lauren Krieger

Article and Photography by RACHEL YOUNG

12:27 pm | October 20, 2013

Hundreds flocked to a private residence in Pasadena to celebrate the Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena at the annual Black Tie & Burgers event last Saturday evening.

Black Tie & Burgers raised funds to enable the Boys & Girls Club to continue improving the lives of youth in greater Pasadena area by helping them experience academic success, practice healthy lifestyles and develop good character and leadership to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

The evening was a lovely combination of music by Azul, food by Pie ‘n Burger, Silent Auction, Live Auction, Opportunity Drawing and of course dancing.

From an Evening with Beyonce to handpicked wine by the board in a wagon, a stay at Cerritos Beach in Mexico, fine dining, and much more, the auctioneer had several fun items to auction.

“Hundreds of kids come to the club everyday because of the facilities that we have, which are funded in large part by this event,” Event Chair David Blazek said.

Continuing, Blazek said, “It’s such a great thing for the city of Pasadena, keeping kids off the street, out of trouble, out of drugs and other distractions. They come in they get better grades they get tutoring, swimming, foreign language, they get all kinds of programs that wouldn’t be other wise available.”

Yossymar Rojas was one of those youth whose life was deeply impacted by the Boys and Girls club. As the Pacific Regional Youth of the Year he spoke at the dinner addressing the imprint on his life.

“Growing up my first language was Spanish so going through elementary and middle school I had a lot of trouble in school with school and academics. I was extremely shy and it was through the help of the Boys and Girls Club and with the leadership and athletic programs that I was able to grow as a person,” Rojas said.

Rojas credits his local Boys & Girls club in San Juan Capistrano for pushing him to grow with mentors, which lead to him graduating as class Valedictorian. He loved playing on the indoor soccer league. Nominated by his club to be Youth of the Year, Rojas won local, county, state, and regional competitions, taking him to the national competition last month.

“I did not win but it was the experience of a lifetime. We got to go to the Nationals game and walk on to the field and get our name on the Jumbotron, we got to meet the President and meet so many people that are involved in the Boys and Girls club. It was a surreal experience to see how large Boys and Girls club really is in the world, I am grateful and so blessed to have been a member of the club,” Rojas said.

If Rojas could give advice to the youth of Pasadena he would say Boys & Girls Club has countless opportunities that are just waiting there for you to grab them, so take advantage of everything in the club and you will definitely be on a path to success.

The Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena serves more than 3,500 youth ages 6- 18 in three facilities, Slavik Branch, Mackenzie-Scott Branch, and the McCabe Performing Arts Center. Eighty percent of the families served live at or below poverty level for Los Angeles County.

Equipped with technology centers, teen centers and swimming pools the branches offer programs year-round in Education and Career Development, Character and Leadership Development, Health and Life Skills, the Arts, and Sports, Fitness and Recreation.